If you’ve done any SEO for a site, you may recognize some of the steps involved in working towards making a website authoritative:
Focus on Authoritative Search Results
A patent granted to Google this week focuses upon authoritative search results. It describes how Google might surface authoritative results for queries and for query revisions when there might not results that meet a threshold of authoritativeness for the initial query. Reading through it was like looking at a mirror image of the efforts I usually go through to try to build authoritative results for a search engine to surface. In addition to using some of the same language that I use to describe how I build authoritative pages, the patent also defines what an authoritative site is for us in terms that I might find myself using too:
This definition seems to tell us that authoritative sites are high quality sites. The timing of a couple of other actions at Google seem to fit in well with the granting of this patent. Once is the publication of a Blog post by long time Google search engineer Ben Gomes (who joined Google in 1999), on steps they have taken to improve the quality of results at Google, titled Our latest quality improvements for Search. In that post, Ben points out that Google has published a brand new set of Search Quality Rater Guidelines – May 11, 2017, publicly, so that they are shared with the world instead of just to Google’s Search quality raters.
One of the named inventors on this patent was an inventor on another patent that I wrote about which focused upon high quality sites as well. That patent is worth reading about together with this one. That post is one I wrote named Google’s High Quality Sites Patent. As I said of that patent, it describes its purpose in this way:
So the aim of this new patent is to find results from higher quality search results. Google does seem to be targeting higher quality pages these days with the results they show.
Google sets a fairly high bar with search results, telling us in the description to this new patent:
In the summary section for this patent, the objective of the patent is identified to us as finding authoritative answers:
What this Patent Does
A search engine doesn’t choose the query terms that someone might use to perform a search with; but it might be able to identify query refinements based upon the initial query term. If the original query doesn’t return an authoritative result; Google might insert into the results shown for it some authoritative results for one of those query refinements based upon that original query. It might show that authoritative result at the top of the search results that it returns. This means that Google will be more likely to return high quality sites at the top of search results, rather than results from sites that might not be seen as authoritative sites.
The patent that was granted this week is:
Obtaining authoritative search results
There were some really interesting points raised in the patent, which makes the whole thing worth spending time reading carefully:
1. Google might maintain a “keyword-to-authoritative site database” which it can refer to when someone performs a query.
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