Google Patents

Sometimes it helps to stand back and look at the bigger picture. Many of my posts are about Google patents, but I haven’t published a list of those patents.

I’ve located all of the granted Google patents that I could find that were either listed in the assignment database at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or noted in their granted patents database as assigned to Google. I haven’t included Google’s pending patent applications.

I’ll be updating this post as new Google patents are granted. – last updated February 5, 2011 – see: Google Patents, Updated

I also included granted patents for Exaflop, which seems, on the patent assignment documents, to share an address with Google at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California 94043. Those are listed at the bottom of this post, and aren’t included in the following statistics.

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Building a Landscape, Dreaming Big Dreams

Thinking about the architecture of web sites, and how carefully they can be constructed brought to mind a brush I once had with a landscape architect, and unknown to me at the time, a founder of Earth Day.

I was in my third year of law school, working with some other students to put together an Environmental Law Society. I helped write a set of bylaws for the organization, and co-edited a newsletter that we wrote together. We earned money with a few bake sales, talked a number of speakers into coming to the school, and took a canoe trip down part of the Christina River.

Our presentors included people from businesses and environmental organizations. They were interesting, and I think we all learned a little about how difficult it can be to try to impose change upon the world as part of an advocacy group, or from within a corporation.

One of our members recommended a neighbor of his from rural Chester County as a speaker. The neighbor was a landscape architect. I’m not sure that any of us were aware at the time that this neighbor was one of the most influential landscape architects of the 20th century. Or one of the most gifted speakers to grace a university’s lecture halls. We found that out, when Ian McHarg’s thick Scottish accent began to fill our presentation hall.

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Search Engines and the Most Popular Search Terms

When you walk into the lobby of Building 42 at the Googleplex, you can see a display that shows you queries entered into the search engine at any one time. It’s a mesmerizing sight, and I found myself wondering about the people and motivations behind some of the search terms I saw flowing down the screen.

Imagine that instead of seeing one query at a time, that search information was analyzed, and queries were bundled together, to maybe provide us with more meaning.

Can search engines be used to tell us what the world is thinking at anyone time? Would looking at the most popular keywords or queries that people type into a search engine provide us with some insights?

Popular Search Information from Search Engines

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Google Advertising on TV, Podcasts, and Radio

A number of recent patent filings from Google were published at the USTPO, and may provide some insights into Google’s advertising models for Television, Radio, and Podcasts.

I’ve linked to the patent filings below, and included the abstracts from those rather than an analysis of the filings. Most of those abstracts are pretty good summaries.

If you’re also interested in what Google might be doing with mobile search results, Nadir at SEO Principle has a nice analysis of a Google patent application on blending mobile search results, ranking and mixing mobile specific pages with Web pages during a mobile search.

Google Television Advertising

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Search Engines, Poverty, and Opportunity: Google Blocking Chrome Downloads in Syria and Iran

Simon Owens, from Bloggasm, sent me a note yesterday pointing out a post at MediaShift – Google Blocks Chrome Browser Use in Syria, Iran.

When I received his message, I had been working upon a post for Blog Action Day 2008, and had started compiling resources that nonprofits working on issues involving poverty might find useful. But the idea of Google limiting access to their Chrome browser had me thinking about how important it is to provide access to information and to tools to access that information (pdf) to people around the world.

Google does offer a number of programs that can help non profit organizations, such as

Google Grants,
YouTube Nonprofit Program
Google checkout for Nonprofits
Google Earth Outreach

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Do Search Engines Love Blogs? Microsoft Explores an Algorithm to Increase PageRank for Pages Linked to by Blogs

Last December I wrote a blog post titled Do Search Engines Hate Blogs? Microsoft Explores an Algorithm to Identify Blog Pages. The inventors behind the patent filing described in that post have come out with a new patent application that says some positive things about blogs. Looking back at the original post, it appears that they may not hate blogs at all.

In the new patent document, they ask if the rankings of web pages in search results would be improved by a providing a slight increase in the PageRank of pages linked to by blogs. They tell us that:

This idea is based on the assumption (or hope) that blogs are still mostly human-authored, and that links from blogs generally represent sincere endorsements on the part of the authors.

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