A wide range of newly published patent applications and granted patents, covering such ground as subscribed content in search results from Google; tag searching, detecting similar audio files, and simpler support vector machines from Yahoo; geographic based searching from MetaCarta; and data center architecture and smarter results to queries from Microsoft, amongst others…
Document access control Google (20070005595)
Focuses primarily on setting the ability to access documents for individuals. Where it starts to become interesting is when it discusses checking access rights before performing a search on an intranet or the internet. Might this lead to subscribed content showing up in search results along side web results? Hard to tell. added: the document is talking about subscription based sites or collections of images or calendar applications that aren’t normally accessible in search results, instead of the type of pages that show an abstract, and then charge you to read the rest of the document. It would be nice to be able to filter those out of search results.
User interface for navigating a keyword space Yahoo (20070011161)
Related to the patent filing I discussed in The Social Side of Trustrank, this patent application discusses searching through tags that you, or your friends may have used on web pages.
Building support vector machines with reduced classifier complexity Yahoo (200700411110)
Describes a way that the use of support vector machines (SVM) can be simplified, so that they may be used in sorting through search results to rerank them based upon some relevancy factors.
System and method for searching for a query TextDigger, Inc. (20070011154)
It’s possible that some synonyms for queries used in a search may be considered to be equivalent for that search (such as car and automobile), and could be used to provide relevant results for the query. This patent application explores the idea.
User Interface For Geographic Search MetaCarta, Inc. (20070011150)
Interesting to see an advanced geographic-based search engine from a company that isn’t one of the major search engines.
Method and system for usage analyzer that determines user accessed sources, indexes data subsets, and associated metadata, processing implicit queries based on potential interest to users Microsoft (7,162,473)
I wrote a little about how some of the lessons learned from working on Microsoft’s desktop search and Vista were influencing search at live.com in Improved Information Retrieval – Looking at Context with Susan Dumais. This patent takes more ideas from that research, and discusses how it could be used to do things such as provide information from standing queries to users.
There’s been a lot of recent stories in the news about new locations for data centers for search engines. If you’re interested in learning a little about how a data center works, the detailed description in this granted patent provides a fair amount of explanation and detail.
Methods and apparatus for indexing and searching of multi-media web pages Oracle (7,162,691)
Audio, Video, and multimedia content provide search engines with some indexing issues. This patent describes a way to automatically create text annotations, or meta data, to be used in indexing those pages and improve searches for the content they contain.
Information retrieval engine Yahoo, through MusicMatch (7,162,691)
If you search through YouTube, you might find the same video appearing multiple times, under different names and with different tags and information attached to it. The same is true with sites that search for audio. If there were a way to recognize that those were the same video or audio files, it might have implications for the way those are indexed. This patent focuses upon indexing audio files by comparing information derived from looking at the contents of the files themselves. The patent notes that the process is one that could be used for more than just audio.
Disclaimer: Patents are filed to protect ideas and methods developed as part of the intellectual property of a company, and may be used to exclude others from using the same, or similar processes, but the granting of a patent or publication of a patent application doesn’t necessarily mean that the processes involved have been fully developed, or will be in the future. Yet, the documents can provide some insight into the ideas that an organization is working upon, and may act as a starting point for more research.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.