This time around, Reuters takes a look at the Google News patent story that’s been making the rounds over the past week. I find it interesting that most of the coverage has made no mention of the fact that the patent application was filed with the USPTO almost 18 months ago.
However, kudos to Lisa Batelein for including the fact in her Reuters article:
A Google spokesman confirmed that the company has applied for the patents but declined further comment regarding whether the company will use or is already using the technology. Google filed its U.S. patent application in September 2003 and it is in line for review by patent examiners.
Like I said last week, just because Google filed for a patent (in 2003) doesn’t necessarily mean the company is waiting for the patent to be granted to begin using the concepts it describes.
I’m happy to see that Lisa went and talked with Rich Skrenta, the founder of one of my favorite new resources of 2004, Topix.net. Topix.net crawls and aggregates (also keyword searchable) material from more than 12,000 sources vs. Google’s 4500. More about the Topix.net NewsRank algorithm here.
Bartlein ends her article by writing,
Yahoo gathers news from disparate sources via direct feeds and a Web crawler. But unlike Google News, Yahoo News employs human editors and carries advertising.
She’s on target regarding how Yahoo gathers news and displays it on various Yahoo News pages. However, a Yahoo News search results page is built algorithmically, without the involvement of any human editors. This is the same way Google News search results pages are built.