There is always great interest within the search engine marketing community whenever a search engine files for a patent. Search engine giant Google was granted a new patent last Tuesday, August 22, 2006 . The title is “System and method for supporting editorial opinion in the ranking of search results“. And here is a brief summary of the patent.
As of now, search engine algorithms have reached their peak. We’ve known for quite some time that an algorithm-based search engine can nevër deliver excellent results. Why, you might ask. Simply because there will always be people out there trying to outdo the system by reverse-engineering it.
Due to this problem, a number of solutions have evolved. One of these is social search engines, which rank their results based on the wisdom of people. Another solution to arise from this problem is a human editorial process.
And now, Google in its new patent application has proposed a hybrid mechanism which combines algorithmic search with a human based editorial process. By integrating editorial opinion, they are looking to enhance the quality of their search results.
It will be interesting to see how Google evolves over the next few years. Algorithm based search results will continue to be problematic because there will always be those who try to beat the system. Implementing some sort of human editorial opinion into the ranking process seems inevitable.
Also this is true for all of the major search engines. Yahoo, Google, MSN, and AskJeeves must all provide quality search results to compete within this industry. To be truly successful, they will have to go beyond algorithm-based results to deliver the most value for their visitors.