How Google Might Disassociate Webspam from Content

Manipulative repetitive anchor text, blog comments filled with spam, Google bombs, and obscene content could be the targets of a system described in a patent granted to Google today that provides arbiters (human and possibly automated), with ways to disassociate some content found on the Web, such as web pages, with other content, such as links to that content.

A couple of images of screens from a content management system that allows someone to make judgments on comments associated with a video and on whether search results for a particular query appear to be manipulated.

In an Official Google Blog post, Another step to reward high-quality sites, Google’s Head of Webspam Matt Cutts wrote about an update to Google’s search results targeted at webspam that they’ve now started calling the Penguin update. The day after, I wrote about some patents and papers that describe the kinds of efforts Google has made in the past to try to curtain web spam in my post Google Praises SEO, Condemns Webspam, and Rolls Out an Algorithm Change.

The patent doesn’t describe in detail an algorithmic approach to identifying practices that might have been used to manipulate the rankings of pages in search results. Instead it tells us about a content management system that people engaged in identifying content impacted by such practices might use to disassociate certain content with webpages and other types of online content.

Continue reading “How Google Might Disassociate Webspam from Content”

Social Circles, Content Sharing, and Social Visibility Pending Patents for Google Plus

Google published 8 patent applications at the USPTO today that describe key elements of Google Plus and a number of alternatives that may or may not become part of Google’s social network. These include 2 applications on how social connections can be sorted into different social circles, 4 filings about how content can be shared in the system, and 2 more pending patents on differences in what might be shown to the author of content created on the social network and what might be visible to people viewing that content who aren’t the authors.

A screenshot from one of the social circles patents showing a screen where you can add people to circles, and the circle types include private circles, publicly-shared circles, and shared circles.

The patent filings are pretty detailed, and if you’ve spent some time using Google Plus, you’ll recognize a lot of the features being described within the patents, and see some that you might wish were included and others you may hope are never added.

Continue reading “Social Circles, Content Sharing, and Social Visibility Pending Patents for Google Plus”

SEO Implications of New Matching Approach for Google Ads?

There are some changes coming to paid search at Google that sound exciting on the surface, but may leave many guessing how exactly those changes might manifest themselves. Over at the Inside Google Adwords blog, we were greeted with a blog post titled New matching behavior for phrase and exact match keywords on April 17th, that tells us that Google will be returning a few more results for paid advertisements that are phrase and exact match keywords. The post tells us to expect to see this start in mid-May.

While I don’t offer paid search as a service, I do often use the Google Keywords Suggestion Tool, and it left me wondering if the search volumes reported by that tool would change in response to the broader match in Google Adwords. Will it continue to show me only “exact” match volumes for keywords that I enter into the tool, or will it start reporting matches for keywords that are broader? Coincidentally, Google was granted a couple of patents this week involving search advertisements, including one on ways that the search engine might modify or expand the range of terms and phrases that advertisements may be shown for.

The first one that caught my eye was the following, which lists Ramananthan V. Guha as one of the inventors behind the patent. He’s known for a few things, including early work building the first version of RSS, as well as being a major force behind Google Custom Search Engines. He also developed Google’s version of trust rank, as an annotation system from “trusted sources” that could make search results more relevant for certain terms and phrases.

Continue reading “SEO Implications of New Matching Approach for Google Ads?”