Friday, December 29, 2006

SearchEngineLand and the US Patent Office

I often growl at the US Patent & Trademark Office. It's just silly. Today I'm growling at them because their shopping basket is broken. I'm trying to buy Google's Mobile Search Patent and I can't. Grr.

It was SearchEngineLand's SearchCap which tipped me off to this. The email took me to the site and a post by Bill Slawski. It was a succient post which is good in ways. It linked straight through to Microsoft's patent application. It did not link through to Google's Patent Application. To get to that I had to click through to SEO by the Sea which is Bill Slawski's blog. I'm sure it is a very good blog. It's not a blog I happen to read. My SearchEngineLand experience would have been better had the original post linked me to Google's patent application.

I'm sure SearchEngineLand's writers write for free. Kudos to them for that. One of the carrots they get in return is a much a higher profile. Every post Bill writes on SearchEngineLand links back to his profile at SEO by the Sea anyway. If I was Danny (and after a check of my bank balance, I can confirm that I'm not) I would strongly encourage every writer to produce fully inclusive posts. Even if the writer's intent was not to use SearchEngineLand to drive traffic to their blog they shouldn't ever be in the position where people can debate whether that is happening.

Bill's done the very same thing on another Google Patent post - How Google Sitelinks May Work, From Patent Application. Some links to the US Patent Office and a nudge towards SEO by the Sea. Once again, though, thanks to Bill for the Patent heads up.

SearchEngineLand is in Google News too. I'm sure the weight of requests to Google News to include SearchEngineLand justifies this without further inspection. Further more (again from patent applications) we know that Google News is interested in the quality and quantity of the writing team and SearchEngineLand has some trusted and respected names on board.

A quick check of the stories on the home page this morning turns up one quirky figure though. The average word count of articles (body and header, no navigation or footer links) is only 114.5 words. There's not a story linked to from Google News's home page or the first page in news categories right now with less than 275 words.

5 comments:

Bill said...

Hi Andrew.

I had written those two posts for SEO by the Sea, and Barry Schwartz asked me if I would post about them at Search Engine Land.

I probably should have linked to the Google patent from the Search Engine Land post, though. Appreciate the constructive criticism.

Cheers.

Bill

Danny said...

> I'm trying to buy Google's Mobile Search Patent and I can't. Grr.

Perhaps our long article, Google Launches Google Patents, might help you get the patent for free:
http://searchengineland.com/061213-200005.php

I can assure you it's more than 115 words

> I did not link through to Google's Patent Application. To get to that I had to click through to SEO by the Sea which is Bill Slawski's blog.

Sorry about that. It probably has more to do with this being a short holiday week and us asking Bill if he could quickly highlight some of his post in order to bring them to our readers attentions. Exactly as what happened with you. We could have just put these in headlines, but we thought they were important enough to raise to a higher profile.

> I would strongly encourage every writer to produce fully inclusive posts.

It depends on what they are doing. If Bill's (or any writer) has done a big write-up on a topic, there's no reason to have them redo that for another place. Who wants to read duplicative content. In some cases, I will assign out and ask for an original article. In other cases, I'll ask for them to highlight their own piece. I, of course, am writing stuff just for Search Engine Land. Chris Sherman will be doing the same after the New Year.

> Even if the writer's intent was not to use SearchEngineLand to drive traffic to their blog they shouldn't ever be in the position where people can debate whether that is happening.

People will debate anything and everything. You raise good points, and I'd be more concerned if I wasn't already aware of what posts are happening the way they are. I am. I will take on board making them more inclusive as it makes sense.

> A quick check of the stories on the home page this morning turns up one quirky figure though. The average word count of articles (body and header, no navigation or footer links) is only 114.5 words.

Why don't you go back before the holiday :)

We've got plenty of long articles, and we'll have plenty more, I promise you. I've been off through Wednesday, then I've spent all day Thursday catching up on the news. I could dive in and start writing up on everything, but sometimes I actually like to make some calls, send some emails and do the preparation required for that original content :)

Bill said...

Hi again, Andrew.

I've added a direct link to the Google Patent for mobile search at Search Engine Land. There was no intention of forcing anyone to have to go through my site to get to the patent application.

Thanks.

Andrew said...

Posts from Bill and Danny. Cwor. I'm glad I began kicking this blog into shape!

Thanks to both of you. Fair points all round. I really wasn't expecting any replies and am nicely impressed that I got a response!

Bill said...

They were understandable points, Andrew.

I stayed up last night, and write a post about another Google patent application, and Danny sent me an email asking me if I would mention that post at Search Engine Land today, so once again I've linked to my site from SEL. I did link directly to the six patents I mention there, though.

The next post I have planned for SEL will not have a link in its body back to my homepage.

Cheers.