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Two new Google ranking patents

Google filed two new ranking patents in April: Document Scoring Based on Traffic Associated with a Document and Document Scoring Based on Query Analysis.

What do these new patents reveal about Google's ranking algorithm?

The patents are similar to a Google patent that we analyzed in an earlier issue of this newsletter.

They deal with web page changes over time that Google might track and analyze:

  • the web page creation date
  • the changes and updates of a web page
  • the analysis of search queries
  • links, link texts and the changes of the links
  • website traffic
  • user behavior
  • web page topics
  • domain related information

Google might assign a score to web pages based on that information. When a web page is associated with a search query, Google might combine history scores with relevancy scores to get a total score for the page.

Alternatively, the relevancy score of a web page might be changed based on the history score.

While that information was already available in previous patents, the new patents indicate that Google could also look at the following factors:

  • The rate at which ads are shown and updated on a web page over time.
  • The quality of the ads. For example, a web page whose ads link to web pages with a high TrustRank may get a higher score than pages whose ads lead to untrustworthy sites.
  • The click-through rate of the ads.

Googly might track and analyze web page characteristics that change over time, including ad traffic, to calculate a score for that page.

What does this mean for your website rankings?

It seems that Google starts to use more of the information that they have about a website to calculate the rankings.

That means that you need a holistic approach to search engine optimization. All factors must be correct when you optimize your site for search engines:

  • Make sure that your web page content is relevant to search engines. Without relevant content, you cannot get high rankings. (Optimize your web page contents with this tool.)

  • Make sure that you get links from the right pages and that you link to the right pages. The links from and to your website should be related to your site. (Optimize your links with this tool.)

  • Make sure that your website shows steadiness. If your website was yesterday about cars, today about shoes and tomorrow about sports then it will be difficult to get high rankings.

Google uses many factors to determine the rankings of your web site. That means that you have to work on many factors to improve your rankings. Details on how to work on all website factors can be found in our free SEO eBook.

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May 2007 search engine articles