United States Patent: 8682892
You may want to skip down to the "Detailed Description" on the USPTO page to get an "English" version of what is happening:
- Search query is made and list of possible results is identified in the search index.
- The results have an Initial Score which is based on relevance to the search query and quality of the resource.
- A modification is made to the initial score based on Independent Links and Reference Queries.
- "Independent Links" are counted. These can be hyperlinks or references to a site without an html link.
- To determine what is an independent link, the system tries to determine if links are related to the site being considered to be listed in the search results. Factors include:
- Owned by the same entity,
- Hosted by the same entity,
- Created by the same entity.
- Identical or similar content,
- Identical or similar images,
- Identical or similar formatting,
- Identical or similar Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
- and so on
- "Reference Queries" are searches deemed related to the website. A search is only counted once for a person using cookies or a login identifier to ID the person.
- The Modification Factor is IL/RQ (The number of Independent Links divided by the number of Searches)
- If the Initial Score is not above a certain threshold level no modification to the score is made.
- If the Initial Score is not above a second threshold level the Modification Factor is adjusted so that it decreases the higher the Initial Score.
- If the Initial Score is above the second threshold level a second modification is applied to the initial score.
If you think I have recapped any of the above wrong from the patent let me know
Hypothetical : search for "Warrior Forum"
warriorforum.com has an initial score based on relevance and quality of 100. There are 2000 independent backlinks and 5000 searches associated with warriorforum.com, or a modification factor of .4 Assume 100 is above the unknown 1st threshhold, and we will assume above the unknown 2nd threshold so the .4 is also modified. Maybe to .44. Perhaps the final ranking score is 144.
acme.com has an initial score based on relevance and quality of 5 because it has a page about the Warrior Forum but is a bit spammy. There are 2 independent backlinks and 100 searches associated with acme.com, or a modification factor of .02. Assume 5 is below the unknown 1st threshold so the modification factor is ignored. Final ranking score is 5.
Some initial thoughts:
- Quality of website impacts the initial score. If this is Panda, or whatever you want to call it, your site gets no modifications to rank better no matter how many backlinks or brand type searches it gets.
- Website references count as links even if not hyperlinked.
- The number of backlinks is important to increasing the modification factor.
- The more popular a search phrase the more backlinks are needed to maintain a high modification factor.
- The dozens (hundreds) of SEO factors Google claims can be put in the categories of (1) website relevance to a search, (2) overall website quality, and (3) which links are connected to each other. This may help simplify SEO analysis.