On August 22nd 2006 Google was awarded US Patent #7096214 for a System and method for supporting editorial opinion in the ranking of search results. The patent itself does not define “editorial opinion” or what exactly an “Editorial Opinion Parameter” is or what it does.

One very good synopsis of the information provided by the patent is provided by William Slawski of Seo By the Sea in an article titled Google looks at Query Themes and Reranking Based upon Editorial Opinion.

Randfish over at Seomoz forwards some interesting ideas of his own on the Google patent in an article titled Favored vs. Non-Favored Sources.

After reading some of their thoughts and comments, there’s a few ideas they advanced that stick in my mind.

Keep in mind that this patent was applied for in 2000. Any methodology detailed in this patent may no longer viable in delivering results if it ever was used to begin with.

It’s very interesting to note that in this patent seems to refer to apply a ranking value to a site as a whole rather than looking at individual pages. I would think that a human editor singling out specific sites as “favored” or “unfavored” would simply require far too many resources. However, using a favored directory such as the DMOZ might be one such way but I really don’t believe that is the case presently… if it ever was.

As interesting as the thoughts and comments are on the sources I linked above, there are some that are simply inaccurate and downright misleading as well. Ken “Greeneagle” Webster a moderator at WPW started a very inacurate thread about Google’s patent titled “Did The Recent TrustRank Patent Grant Murder DMOZ?”

His opening post states…

I have thought long and hard before posting these thoughts:

Recently the GOOG made public what is going on behind the scenes with the recently awarded “TrustRank” US patent #7,096,214 .

It should be pretty obvious to all us SEO’rs that “TrustRank” has been being implimented as far back as the “Florida” update…

With the advent of “seeded standards” is DMOZ dead?

Did The Recent TrustRank Patent Grant Murder DMOZ?

I think it did.

How can we conclude with the “new” knowledge of how “TrustRank” works, otherwise?

DMOZ is history! – DOA


In this post Ken links to his absurd article titled “GOOGLE Introduces “TrustRank” Patent # 7,096,214”.

Clearly Ken has confused Yahoo’s PageRank Patent Application with the recently awarded Google patent.

Ken inaccurately attributes the TrustRank white paper titled “Combating Web Spam with TrustRank” to Google’s recently awarded patent in error. Hopefully Ken realizes the mistake he’s made and takes corrective action.