One thing most SEOs are aware of is that search results at Google are sometimes personalized for searchers; but it’s not something that I’ve seen too much written about. So when I came across a patent that is about personalizing search results, I wanted to dig in, and see if it could give us more insights.
The patent was an updated continuation patent, and I love to look at those, because it is possible to compare changes to claims from an older version, to see if they can provide some details of how processes described in those patents have changed. Sometimes changes are spelled out in great detail, and sometimes they focus upon different concepts that might be in the original version of the patent, but weren’t necessarily focused upon so much.
Imagine that some sites might be ranked by Google based upon how their databases answer queries. A patent from Google refers to this approach as one that looks at database service requirements to rank large sites such as sites that cover products, jobs, travel, recipes and movies. Such sites might include some static pages that provide examples of the capabilities of their databases, such as being able to provide answers to queries such as: “Brand X Cameras for less than $300.00”.
The patent provides some examples of the types of sites that are covered by this patent:
Many websites for which data available in resources store the data in large databases of structured information. For example, job search websites may have respective job databases, and respective resources (web pages) that include forms to search the databases. Likewise, recipe websites have respective databases for recipes, and movie websites have respective databases for movies. Requesting information for a certain recipe or movie causes the website to query its respective database and generate a webpage that presents the information in a structured format.
Query Refinements have changed since the earlier days of Google
In 2006, I wrote a post A Look at Google Midpage Query Refinements (Go ahead and read it; this post will make more sense if you visit the past and bring it in). The patent I wrote then was just granted again as a continuation patent, with new claims, reflecting a change in the process involving how it is being used by the Google. The new version of the patent is now at: