Google Revisits Historical Data Ranking Factors

One of the biggest stirs of 2005 in the search marketing field was caused by the release of a patent application from Google titled Information retrieval based on historical data.

It introduced time as a dimension of ranking pages, with changes in content and linking and advertising and topics as factors to be considered, as well as rates of change. It discussed signals that might send warnings to search engines that some sites might be engaged in spamming the search engine. It covered seasonality and burstiness of topics, and domain name ownership and a myriad of other subjects, introducing rates and frequencies of changes to web pages, and investigating how freshness and staleness might play a role in determining relevancy.

Two years later, the Historic Data patent application seems to have re-emerged, and cloned itself under a number of names, with expanded claim sections that detail different aspects of the processes described in the original. Our friend Miguel Cuesta from wrote a post today on two of the Google Applications which were published this morning. I covered two others from last week at SEO by the Sea.

There doesn’t really seem to be much that is new in these documents when held up to the original from 2005. But, if you hadn’t paid much attention to the different parts of that document, it might be worth revisiting.

A look through the transaction database at the USTPO provides a little information, and shows that the original document was given a non-final rejection by the USPTO, which means that there may have been some issues in the original that needed to be addressed. It’s difficult to pinpoint what those issues were based upon the information that they provide.

Another patent application published by Google that is considered to be a “child” application of the original Historical Data document is also worth a look if you missed it the first time around – Systems and methods for determining document freshness

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Patents | Google: SEO


About The Author: is the Director of Search Marketing for Go Fish Digital and the editor of SEO by the Sea. He has been doing SEO and web promotion since the mid-90s, and was a legal and technical administrator in the highest level trial court in Delaware.

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