In my first Patent Free Friday, I was going to write about two of the best marketers in the town I live in, a pair of bakers who bake on either end of the historic Main Street in Warrenton Virginia. I guess getting up in the early morning to bake the bread is conducive to letting marketing ideas nurture and thrive. They are both worth writing about, so I’m going to reserve that topic for another day, and not give away too much here, yet.
Another topic arose last week as I presented at Pubcon, and ran into an old friend, who used to be a moderator in a web forum that I was an administrator of. He asked me a question that I’ve been thinking about since, coming up with a lot of different answers. I’m going to share that question now, but not my answers until another Friday, to give you a chance to think about how you might answer the question.
Google recently started showing “How to” lists in search results, which tend to show the first few steps of some task, and then let you click through to a page to see more. Like the recipes above for things like guacamole:
They have also published an interesting paper that describes some of the steps that need to take place for one of these snippets to be created, which is titled Cooking with Semantics (pdf).
At the time, Google had a Subscribed links program, where site owners could create specialized search results based upon certain patterns of queries, that would show additional content for a searcher. For some of those, you had to log into your Google Account and subscribe to certain links to be shown special content.
Oddly, some of those specialized search results didn’t require subscriptions, and didn’t require logging in. Much like these NFL sports Scores from this weekend:
A Google patent application explores how Google may answer factual questions from unstructured Web pages and results rather than from more structured sources such as Freebase or Wikipedia. The processes described in the patent are pretty interesting, and they might be more familiar to an SEO trained audience than a Semantic Web one, like a result that ranks well because of a “query deserves freshness” approach.
They also avoid a problem for the search engines that I’ve been thinking about for weeks.
I’ve decided that it’s time for something of a change at SEO by the Sea, and so I am introducing Patent Free Fridays to the blog.
Patent Free Fridays do not always have to happen on a Friday, but they do have to be patent free, at least if they don’t involve a patent that is from a search engine or a tech company. If I find a patent about how to make a better snowman (and there are a few out there), I might use it for patent free Friday.
If I write about finding out that an inventor in my town patented a flying motorcycle, and that I’ve now developed a habit of looking into the sky every time I walk out of my cottage, that could be a good patent free Friday post. Unfortunately rumor has it that he passed away (I don’t know if he was in an accident), but I don’t know if he had a protege or not, so I’m going to keep looking.
If I have an idea for an invention, and I write it up in a patent style, that also fits into patent free Fridays.
Tomorrow morning, I’m presenting on the Semantic Web at Google at Pubcon in Las Vegas. I’ve included my presentation deck here to use as a kicking off point for further discussion.
Changes to what Google shows in search results have been difficult to miss, from many different types of rich snippets to recent additions of search boxes in search results and Google showing snippets from pages that contain both query answering and question answering results mixed together.
It was a surprise to see a number of Yahoo! patents listed in Google’s assignment database as having been assigned to Google. With news recently that Yahoo would be closing the Yahoo Directory, that seemed like a strategic choice. Now I’m wondering if we will ever see an independent Yahoo Search Engine ever again once their deal to have Microsoft supply search results to them ends.
The USPTO assignment database doesn’t disclose financial details of transactions like this, so we don’t know things like how much the transaction cost or if there were licensing agreements accompanying the transaction.
A number of these patents seem to have orginated at Yahoo!, but some were acquired by Yahoo when they acquired companies such as Altavista and Inktomi. Fastforward Technologies specialized in multi streaming broadcast technologies and was originally acquired by Inktomi.
The Semantic Web is making an even stronger appearance recently at Google than it has in the past. With knowledge panels, carousels listing all kinds of things (and people and places), structured snippets merging query answers with question answers into a single snippet, OneBoxes of many different kinds, and even Hummingbird responding better to longer and more complex queries, it’s the future of Google.
I’m presenting on it this morning at the Javit’s Center in Manhattan at SMX (Search Marketing Expo) East, in a session titled “Hummingbird and the Entity Revolution”