A U.S. Patent (#7,191,210) was recently awarded to RightDot, a “computer implemented system and method for registering websites and for displaying registration indicia in a search results list”. The new technology would allow search engines to clearly distinguish between official and non-official Web sites through visual, audio or embedded identification on Internet search page site descriptions.
This could potentially impact search results, should the major search engines decide to use the technology as a method to compare valid or official sites with sites consistenting of autogenerated or questionable content, in an effort to protect consumers and provide greater relevancy.
Among the patent’s most significant claims are:
- Web-Site Search Result Identification and Validation – On search page result site descriptions, Web sites of legitimate, official validated organizations or individuals are identified in any of a variety of visual, audio or other methods.
- Inclusion of Immediately Actionable Information Within Search Results – Either through verifiable seal display, visual scroll over or other techniques, useful information about a verified Web site is made instantly available on the search page site description itself. This could include specific product or retail location information, third party recognition, affiliated Web site identification, immediate email contact/response links and additional branding and marketing tools to facilitate the immediate exchange of information.
“Search engines have failed to provide Internet users with a way to verify that they’ve really found what they’re looking for when conducting a search,” said James Grossman, RightDot inventor. “In addition to clearly indicating legitimate, “official” sites, RightDot enables verifiable, faster, actionable and more useful searches, providing new tools that improve the experience for users, businesses and the search engines themselves,” Grossman added.
A key component of RighDot is the visual, audio or other representation on a Web site search result description that a Web site has completed a registration process and been designated as an “official” site. As outlined in the RightDot patent, this may include distinctive markings consisting of a:
- Embedded Data
- Biometric Data
- Type Font
- Type Size
- Graphical Layout
- Graphical Data
- Audio Data
- Video Data
- Product Identification
- Product Model
- Combinations of above