Endorsing local search results as a ranking signal?
Imagine joining a social network like Orkut or Friendster and having the chance to leave comments on local businesses, restaurants, and more, and endorsing show up in Google local results.
The folks at Google have imagined something like that, and have published a Community Endorsements patent application that describes how it might be done.
Inventors: Thomas Christopher Korte, Sumit Agarwal, and Celia Saino
United States Patent Application 20060004713
Filed: June 30, 2004
Published January 5, 2006
Methods and systems for improving user search experience with a search engine by providing a way for associated users to create and share personalized lists of local search results and/or advertisements through endorsements of such local search results and/or ads.
Local search endorsements can be used to personalize the search engine’s ranking of local search results by offering a way for users to re-rank the results for themselves and for those who trust them.
How it might work in a nutshell:
Someone signs up to become a member of a social network.
As a member, that person can endorse local search results.
Some type of icon or indicator would then appear in the local search results in response to a query, and have that community endorsement associated with it.
In addition, members of those groups could see community endorsements from other members of the social network.
They would have the ability to re-rank those endorsements in that list. Their actions could influence the rankings of sites that appear in local results for other members of the network, and possibly for people who trust that network.
There’s also a mention in this Community Endorsements patent application of an unpublished U.S. patent application that is also pending titled “Methods and Systems Endorsing Search Results.” By the omission of the word “local” from that one, it sounds like a way to make these endorsements work with the main search results.