New Google patent applications

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Some new patent applications assigned to Google, which were published yesterday at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

These are not granted patents, and they only describe possible ways that a search engine can fulfill some objective, but they can provide some insight into possible processes that the search engine could follow, and some of the issues surrounding the problems they are intended to address.

Adjusting ad campaigns based upon business objectives

Interested in having your online advertising campaign adjust itself in some manner when a pre-defined business goal has been met? The first patent application describes a process that will estimate or track (or estimate and track) a business metric , such as: ROI, profit, gross profit, etc., for an ad campaign, or part of the campaign.

A couple of examples of constraints that could be placed upon the serving of advertisements as taken from this document:

  • spend no more than x dollars per time period y,
  • inventory is limited to N units per time period z

Managing on-line advertising using metrics such as return on investment and/or profit
Filed September 29, 2004, published March 30, 2006
Inventors Sumit Agarwal and Thomas Korte


To help advertisers to manage their online advertising, some business metric, such as ROI, profit, gross profit, etc., may be estimated and/or tracked with respect to an ad campaign, or a portion of the ad campaign. An advertiser may provide a business metric target, such as a target ROI, a target gross profit, a target profit, etc. An ad delivery system may then adjust information in an ad campaign (or a portion of an ad campaign) in an effort to meet the target. Similarly, an advertiser may provide a goal, such as maximizing or minimizing a business metric. The ad delivery system may then adjust information in an ad campaign (or a portion of an ad campaign) in an effort to meet the goal. The targets or goals may be subject to one or more constraints. The advertiser may provide limits on values of one or more business metrics. The ad delivery system may then turn off, or govern, the delivery of ads if the limits are violated.

Scanning and serving documents

This next one covers documents that might have been scanned, and placed online, such as books, newspapers, catalogs, and magazines. Optical character recognition plays a role in making these documents searchable, and the patent application presents ways that parts of these pages may be shown to searchers. And it does describe a way to present advertising along with additional information about the publication, such as ISBN or ISSN numbers.

User interfaces for a document search engine
Filed September 29, 2004, published March 30, 2006
Inventors: Siraj Khaliq, Joe Sriver, Frederick G.M. Roeber, William Brougher, and Adam Smith


A method includes receiving a search query, identifying a document based on the search query, and providing a search result based on the document. The search result includes, for example, an image associated with the document, an excerpt from the document that is associated with the search query, and links to other excerpts in the document that are associated with the search query. The method may also include providing other information associated with the document.

Ads based upon travels across the web

Some discussion of content-relevant ad delivery system networks in the following application. The section on spyware is interesting.

Determining advertisements using user behavior information such as past navigation information
Filed September 30, 2004, published March 30, 2006
Inventor: David Bau


Ads better targeted to individual users can be determined by using (recent) navigation history. User navigation (e.g., Web browsing) may be tracked, recorded and maintained. The navigation history information, and perhaps information about a current document, may be used to determine content-relevant and personalized ads. By doing so the ads seen by the user are more interesting and relevant to a current user interest inferred from their (recent) navigation.

Unassigned patent application on mobile queries

This one isn’t officially recorded as having been assigned to Google, but a couple of the inventors’ names can be traced back to the company, and one of them is a project manager (Benjamin Ling) for Google, working on SMS. It describes a few ways of making a query using a mobile device, including by voice and by SMS.

Method and system for processing queries intiated by users of mobile devices
Inventors: Benjamin C. Ling, Jie J. Wu, Jian Gong Deng, Hanping Feng
Filed September 30, 2004, Published March 30, 2006


In one embodiment, a method for processing queries initiated by users of mobile devices includes receiving an incoming message containing a query initiated be a user of a mobile device, and extracting the query from the received message. The message further includes obtaining a result of the query and creating an outgoing message with the result of the query for delivery to the mobile device

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