A new Google patent was awarded today named Systems and methods for detecting hidden text and hidden links.
The patent was filed on August 25, 2009 by Google’s Matt Cutts and Fritz Schneider. It was awarded today after being in pending status for over 3 years. The abstract reads:
A system detects hidden elements in a document that includes a group of elements. The system may identify each of the elements in the document and create a structural representation of the document. The structural representation may provide an interconnection of the group of elements in the document. The system may also determine whether one or more elements of the group of elements are hidden based at least in part on locations or other attributes or properties of the one or more elements in the structural representation.
Bill Slawski posted on his blog a more human readable explanation of this patent and what it may mean for webmasters and SEOs.