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Personal Search Vertical ZoomInfo Awarded U.S. Patent

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ZoomInfo, a vertical that mines open web content for information about people (and a service we've written about many times) recently received a patent from the U.S. Patent Office. Look for an official announcement next week.

Patent Info:
Computer method and apparatus for collecting people and organization information from Web sites
Filed: March 30, 2001
Awarded: January 3, 2006


Computer processing method and apparatus for searching and retrieving Web pages to collect people and organization information are disclosed. A Web site of potential interest is accessed. A subset of Web pages from the accessed site are determined for processing. According to types of contents found on a subject Web page, extraction of people and organization information is enabled. Internal links of a Web site are collected and recorded in a links-to-visit table. To avoid duplicate processing of Web sites, unique identifiers or Web site signatures are utilized. Respective time thresholds (time-outs) for processing a Web site and for processing a Web page are employed. A database is maintained for storing indications of domain URLs, names of respective owners of the URLs as identified from the corresponding Web sites, type of each Web site, processing frequencies, dates of last processings, outcomes of last processings, size of each domain and number of data items found in the last processing of each Web site.

ZoomInfo also holds two other U.S. Patents that were awarded when the company was known as Eliyon.
+ Computer method and apparatus for determining site type of a web site
+ Computer method and apparatus for determining content owner of a website

Not only does ZoomInfo operate its own site (free) along with extended fee-based services for clients but also powers "people search" for
A9,, and others.

A bit more about ZoomInfo, the company, in this Hoover's brief.

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