The battle lines between search engines and SEOs seem sharper after the Google Patent document called Ranking documents surfaced around two weeks ago. The patent reveals the ways Google can identify the ‘techniques’ used by ‘rank modifying spammers’ to bring their site up, and then it can adjust the ranking in such a way that the webmaster aka spammer may think that his technique has failed. Google with then observe the way how the webmaster will react to the ranking change and make a note of the changes the webmaster brings in next. Yes, it does seem like while you will be struggling to bring the rankings up, Google will be ‘observing’ your every move.
The search patent was covered in much detail by Bill Slawski as he explored the patent’s functionality regarding “rank modifying spam” and how Google will respond to such spammy practices. The patent refers to rank modifying techniques, which we may assume mean activities like: unnatural linking, meta tag and keyword stuffing, invisible or tiny text and page redirects etc.
This is an interesting portion of the Patent- "A system determines a first rank associated with a document and determines a second rank associated with the document, where the second rank is different from the first rank. The system also changes, during a transition period that occurs during a transition from the first rank to the second rank, a transition rank associated with the document based on a rank transition function that varies the transition rank over time without any change in ranking factors associated with the document."
As Bill says, "What’s really interesting about this patent isn’t that Google is taking steps to try to keep people from manipulating search results, but rather the possible steps they might take while doing so."
The patent says that Google can respond to the spammy techniques being applied to the page in a way that the webmaster did not expect at all. Google will not increase the rank or ban the site straight away. In fact it will respond on a time-based "rank transition function."
As the patent says- "Unexpected results are bound to elicit a response from a spammer, particularly if their client is upset with the results. In response to negative results, the spammer may remove the changes and, thereby render the long-term impact on the document’s rank zero. Alternatively or additionally, it may take an unknown (possibly variable) amount of time to see positive (or expected) results in response to the spammer’s changes. In response to delayed results, the spammer may perform additional changes in an attempt to positively (or more positively) influence the document’s rank. In either event, these further spammer-initiated changes may assist in identifying signs of rank-modifying spamming."
This means that Google can surely ‘play’ with a suspected spammer by changing the rankings so much that he engages in a corrective action that is a clear violation of Google’s Quality guidelines. What do you think of this patent? Do share your viewsThe Google Patent on 'Rank Modifying Spammers'!,