Google on Using a Knowledge Base of Articles to Make Searches Smarter

When a search at a search engine includes a person’s name, or the name of a particular place, or a book, or a band, or an album, there might be some confusion as to which person (or place or thing) is being searched for.

Danny Sullivan, Race Car Driver

Case in point, there’s a well known race car driver by the name of Danny Sullivan. There’s also a well known journalist who writes about the search industry by the name of Danny Sullivan.

Danny Sullivan, Journalist and Technologist

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Google Determining Search Authority Pages and Propagating Authority to Related Pages

Google Intra-Website Authority

Google has unveiled an approach to determining authority pages for query terms and business locations and categories on a site, and making other pages on the same site more relevant for that information, even if it isn’t mentioned on those other pages.

Are there authority pages on the Web for some search terms or business locations or categories?

Can it be helpful for the content and categories of some pages on a website to be imputed to other pages of that site, so that those pages rank higher in search results?

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Would You Rent Your Rooftop to Google To Show Ads Upon?

Painters from the Googleplex wouldn’t show up at your door with ladders and paintbrushes. These wouldn’t be physical ads. They would instead show up in Google Maps, like the following which points out “Bob’s Sporting Goods” and displays ads for Bob’s local competitors.

Google Rooftop Advertising

Ads in services like Google Earth, and Microsoft Virtual Earth presently appear in the sidebar, and are often ignored. If they were placed in the “area of interest” on the map itself, would viewers pay more attention to them? A Google patent application explores that idea.

Providing advertising in aerial imagery
Invented by Ashutosh Garg and Mayur Datar
US Patent Application 20070233375
Published October 4, 2007
Filed: March 31, 2006

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Smaller Screens Means Smarter Image Processing by Search Engines

A recent commentor here asked if image search from the search engines would soon involve indexing text found within images with the use of optical character recognition (OCR) software, which tries to read words that are parts of images.

My answer was that it would be computationally expensive for a search engine to try to do that, so it might be a while before we see it.

So, it’s kind of fun to eat my words and unveil a new Google patent application which describes how the search engine might handle image map navigation when trying to render web pages for small screens while trying to use OCR to read text within those image maps.

Google Image Map Extraction Process

The document not only talks about using OCR software to read image text, but also using face recognition technology, so that it can crop larger “image map” images, and display faces and other interesting parts of pictures from those image maps.

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Erik Selberg Leaves Microsoft Live, Joins Amazon

Along with news of Microsoft’s Updated Live Search Engine, discussed at Microsoft’s Searchification Day, comes some other news from the Live.com camp.

One of the founders of the Microsoft Search Labs (a research and development group within the Windows Live Search team), Erik Selberg, is leaving Microsoft to join Amazon.com.

With my last post on how closely Yahoo is treating categories, I wanted to make sure I pointed out this Microsoft patent application from Erik Selberg on categorization (I wrote about it in a post titled Microsoft Looks at Category Based Link Weights):

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