Google’s Panda update has been one of the most talked about algorithmic updates by SEOs and webmasters since it launched in February 2011. Today is the day the patent document describing Panda was granted.
It was written by Navneet Panda, which is why it was named Panda, and Vladimir Ofitserov of Google. The patent application was filed on September 28, 2012, well after Panda was released into the Google search ranking algorithm. Today, March 25, 2014, it was granted by the U.S. Patent Office.
You can view the patent over here but Bill Slawski summarizes it very well, describing that the algorithm relies on both looking at inbound links and looking at how many search queries are made about a particular page/resource, and it “modifies the initial scores” for the pages/resources being ranked.
We may take a deeper dive into this patent document later but just having a patent doesn’t mean it’s in use or that it has not changed over time. See our story Google’s Matt Cutts: Holding A Patent Doesn’t Mean We Use That Patent In Search Quality.
Learn more on the Google Panda update.
Postscript: Just to clarify, it seems that there is confusion on if this patent document describes parts of the Panda algorithm or not. See the comments section of this story to see that debate. This patent may have nothing to do with the Panda algorithm, to be fair.