New Search Patents: June 8, 2006 – Stanford updates Pagerank Patent

The patent for pagerank has been updated, Hewlett-Packard introduces advanced searching options for searchers, IBM patents a query translation server to help search engines provide search results in more languages than English, Microsoft uncovers a way to learn more about the people who are clicking upon ads, and Yahoo integrates external sites into its shopping portal.

Stanford University

The original pagerank patents were:

Method for node ranking in a linked database (Filed January 9, 1998 and granted September 4, 2001)

Method for scoring documents in a linked database (Filed July 6, 2001, and granted September 28, 2004)

In many ways, this new version of the first patent looks like an effort to combine some of the aspects of the two documents, while correcting some typos and errors within them. The main difference between the two older patent filings and the new one is an expanded “summary of the invention” section. The file date is actually a few days before the second pagerank patent to be granted, and that may present a clue as to why this update was filed to begin with – which appears to be to make it fit better with the second patent, on “scoring documents in a linked database.”

Method for node ranking in a linked database
Invented by Lawrence Page
Assigned to The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
US Patent 7,058,628
Granted June 6, 2006
Filed July 2, 2001


A method assigns importance ranks to nodes in a linked database, such as any database of documents containing citations, the world wide web or any other hypermedia database. The rank assigned to a document is calculated from the ranks of documents citing it. In addition, the rank of a document is calculated from a constant representing the probability that a browser through the database will randomly jump to the document. The method is particularly useful in enhancing the performance of search engine results for hypermedia databases, such as the world wide web, whose documents have a large variation in quality.


Introduces sliding scales for searchers, to choose which factors are most important to them in results returned by a search engine, including things such as inbound links to a page, readability, differently prioritized keywords, age of document, language of document, and others.

System and method for optimizing search results
Invented by Graham S. Masters
Assigned to Hewlett-Packard
US Patent 7,058,624
Granted June 6, 2006
Filed June 20, 2001


A system and method for searching for documents identified in a database, wherein the method comprises the steps of establishing a first search criterion associated with a keyword match between a keyword entry and the identified documents, establishing at least one additional search criterion based on a document attribute of the identified documents, determining a criterion matching score for identified documents for each of the established search criteria, associating a scaling factor with each of the established search criteria, calculating an overall matching score for a selection of the identified documents from the criterion matching scores and scaling factors associated therewith, and ordering the selection of identified documents based upon the calculated overall matching scores.


Method and system for providing native language query service
Invented by Yue Pan, Li Ping Yang, and Lindon Robertson
Assigned to IBM
US Patent 7,058,626
Granted June 6, 2006
Filed July 28, 2000


The present invention provides a method and system for providing native language query service for Internet users by using a plurality of search engines. The method of the present invention includes the steps of: (a) receiving at a site an original query request from one user; (b) selecting a suitable search engine; (c) translating said query words of native language into query words of dedicated language of said selected search engine; (d) constructing a new query request directing to said search engine; (e) sending said new query request and receiving a returned query result; (f) sending said query result back to said user as a query result in relation to said original query request.


This next patent doesn’t transmit personal information to advertisers about those click through ads to their sites, but it might tell them more about the sites the ads were on when the click happened. For instance, If an ad was mostly displayed on sports and international news pages, that information would be shared with the advertiser so that they can tailor their landing pages for those types of customers.

Transmission of information during ad click-through
Invented by David E. Heckerman, D. Maxwell Chickering, and Daniel Rosen
Assigned to Microsoft
US Patent 7,058,592
Granted June 6, 2006
Filed November 29, 1999


The transmission of information during ad click-through is disclosed. In one embodiment, a computer-implemented method selects an ad to be displayed on a web page, as one of a plurality of ads within a current cluster in which each of the ad has a probability to be selected. The method displays the ad on the web page, and then detects activation–for example, click-through–of the displayed ad. The method transmits information to an entity associated with the ad, such as an advertiser, upon detecting click-through or other activation of the ad. In one embodiment, the information transmitted includes information regarding the current cluster.


Ecommerce through a site like Yahoo Shopping may work with other sites that are online elsewhere, but also use Yahoo Shopping as a proxy. This invention helps make that possible by making that integration transparent.

System and methods for implementing code translations that enable persistent client-server communication via a proxy
Invented by Greg I. Chiou, Lev Stesin, Arup Mukherjee
Assigned to Yahoo! Inc.
US Patent 7,058,699
Granted June 6, 2006
Filed August 29, 2000


Systems and methods for extending or modifying the behavior of mobile (downloadable) software, such as JavaScript, HTML, and/or data that can be downloaded to a client device. One or more morphing agents are provided for translating and modifying code and data from a software source, such as a remote server. Each morphing agent translates and modifies one or more particular types of code. For example, one morphing agent may be provided for processing JavaScript code and another may be provided for processing HTML code and data. Each morphing agent typically includes a tokenizer module, a parser module and a translation module, each of which follows specific rule sets. Original software content is first tokenized according to a set of tokenizer rules, and subsequently parsed according to a set of parser rules. The parsed code is then translated according to the set of translator rules to produce the desired modified software content. An exception handler module is also provided for implementing exception rules when an exception occurs.

My usual reminder about patents: Some of the processes and technology described in patents are created in house, and some are developed with the assistance of contractors and partners. A percentage are never developed in a tangible manner, but may serve as a way to attempt to exclude others from using the technology, or even to possibly mislead competitors into exploring an area that they might not have an interest in (sometimes skepticism is good.)

There are times when a Google or Yahoo acquires a company to gain access to the intellectual property of that company, or the intellectual prowess and expertise of that company’s employees. And sometimes patents are just purchased.

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