Mindmapping Audiences and Tasks for Category and Keyword Development

Working Towards Keyword Development

It’s been a while since my last Back to Basics post here, so I’m going to provide an example of one SEO task that can be a lot of fun if done right; the Keyword Development Process.

It’s an exercise in Mind Mapping, and is the kind of thing that can be done in a group. It involves getting something to write upon (ideally posterboard paper and a mix of different colored magic markers), and thinking non-linearly while filling that paper up with ideas about which keywords a site should be about.

What tasks can a site perform that the audience of the site is interested in?
What words will they expect to see on the pages of the site?
What questions might they ask that you want a site to answer?

The ideas don’t necessarily have to be completely on topic, and sometimes writing down an idea that is only tangentially related to the topic may lead to the exploration of ideas and keyword development that are more relevant.

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Refining Queries Using a Local Category Synonym

What is a local category synonym?

Is that local hotspot down the street that you want to look up in Google Maps considered a bar, or is it a tavern?

When looking in Google Maps for a restaurant specializing in steaks, what kinds of calculations might a search engine make regarding categories to help you find a good steakhouse when your query is [steak : city : state].

The way that a search engine classifies a business into a category may affect how it is listed in a local search, or in Google’s universal search interface, so a question like this is important.

A Cafe that isn’t listed amongst Coffee Houses may not be shown to searchers looking for coffee houses, even though it might be exactly what the searcher wanted to find.

A new patent application from Google points to a method of recognizing, from user log files and user data, that categories which a business could be listed within may be synonyms, so that inclusion in one should mean inclusion in another.

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Followup on Google’s Historical Data Patent Application

One of the most talked about patent applications from Google over the past couple of years was one which looked at how time might be incorporated into a system of ranking documents, and how time might help the search engine recognize when people might be attempting to manipulate (spam) search results.

The patent application was published in March of 2005 – Information retrieval based on historical data

Over the past couple of months, Google has had some new patent applications published which share a good amount of the description of that original patent filing, but contain new and modified claims.

Google File System & Large Scale Machine Learning System Patents Granted

If you enjoy some of the technical aspects of how search engines work, you might find these two Patents from Google interesting.

Google was granted a patent on their file system today. The best place to learn about the Google File System is probably the paper that Google had published about it – The Google File System (pdf), but the patent may provide some information not contained in the paper.

Namespace locking scheme
Invented by Sanjay Ghemawat, Howard Gobioff, and Shun-Tak Leung
Patent 7,222,119
Granted May 22, 2007
Assigned to Google
Filed: June 30, 2003


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Dual Trustrank, User Profiles, and Personalized Rerankings of Search Results

User data can be used a lot of different ways to rerank search results for individuals. It seems to be a popular theme lately, with recent patent applications on the subject from Ask.com and from Microsoft.

Some of Yahoo’s potential processes in this area are described in a fairly complex patent application that explores topics such as:

  • Methods to collect user data
  • User tags and annotations used as if they were anchortext
  • Creating user profiles by indexing a user’s tags, annotations, saved pages, and other user interactions with content
  • Aggregating and indexing user data according to communities or social networks of users
  • Reputation or Trust Values from Social Networks, from explicit relationships in social networks or implicit relationships based upon personal information and shared interests
  • Real-time User Information from a stream search queue
  • Dual Trustrank – one for the link structure between content items on the web, and one between related members of a social network

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Google Local for Mobile Patent Applications

Patent applications for Google Local for Mobile were published this past week at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The inventors listed on the documents are Adam Bliss, Mark Crady, Michael Chu, Scott Jenson, Sanjay Mavinkurve, Josh Sacks, Jerry Morrison.

Both were filed at the USPTO on November 7, 2005, filed internationally November 7, 2006, and published internationally on May 18, 2007. They haven’t been published at the United States Patent and Trademark Office yet.

Google Local for Mobile

These both go into a lot of detail on technical aspects of mapping, zooming, and directions. They discuss using keypads and even voice instructions. The real-time traffic that we see in the present implementation of Google Local for Mobile isn’t included within these documents.

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