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Old 05-16-2010, 07:28 PM
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Do Patents hold SEO Secrets?

A question many of you may have not thought to ask, but do patents (& other publications authored by SE employees) provide bread crumbs and clear steps on how to optimize your web pages?

You see, staff at search engines apply for patents which, might reveal evidence of how a SE goes about finding and ranking web pages. These patents are filed with the intent that some of these features maybe used in the future and also in an attempt to prevent their competitors from utilizing the same features.

They're basically ideas, concepts, not necessarily features or adjustments the search engines are actually working on or even plan to work on. These documents are also never detailed enough that someone can easily reverse engineer a certain function and utilize the info within the patent as they don't have to be filed with step by step detail etc.

Patents and White Papers hold more than SEO secrets, why? Because SE's are always looking to improve and the info detailed within these documents can't but help site owners and SEOs.

My opinion: I believe Search Engines purposely patent technology they are not using or have no intention of using. It wouldn’t make sense for them to disclose highly valuable information that could be exploited by SEOs, or reverse-engineered by other SEs. However, I'm a firm believer in bettering ones self and these white papers, these patents, they detail functional, clever and in some instances mind blowing ideas that can't hurt but read and (try to) understand. It's called 'thinking outside of the box'.

Share your opinions on whether you believe patents hold SEO secrets or not, and please, tell us why you feel that way!
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:41 PM
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Years ago, I would spend weeks researching and testing every single time someone discovered some new Google patent. Over time though, I came to find that many never seemed to have a thing to do with what was actually going on in the SERPs and I was wasting a ton of time. In the end, I found that it didn't really matter one way or another in terms of how I optimize my pages. I still depend on quality content and very basic on-page techniques, along with natural link building and social networking.
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by guy View Post
These documents are also never detailed enough that someone can easily reverse engineer a certain function and utilize the info within the patent as they don't have to be filed with step by step detail etc.
The patents in question do, with few exceptions, fail to meet the Enablement requirement that "The specification shall contain a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains...to make and use the same, and shall set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention." See section entitled Enablement.

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My opinion: I believe Search Engines purposely patent technology they are not using or have no intention of using. It wouldn’t make sense for them to disclose highly valuable information that could be exploited by SEOs, or reverse-engineered by other SEs.
By deliberately writing vague Descriptions, Specifications and Claims, many, the SEs included, hope to gain a Patent by making it difficult for a Patent Examiner and any would be challengers to contest such by way of demonstrating non-obviousness, non-usefulness, and/or the existence of prior art.

Once having so gained a Patent, they then seek to use those same deficiencies that should have resulted in their Application having been denied as means of thwarting others, by way of FUD, so as to collect undeserved royalties and/or prevent another from succeeding in a potentially competitive venture.

That Software Patents should be granted has had the polar opposite effect of the purpose stated in the US Constitution, and has cost all of us dearly in the purse.

While such may make for interesting and intellectually stimulating reading, they are of little practical import to other than those dealing in IP law.

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