Bill Slawski, director of SEO research for Go Fish Digital, has published his list of the top 10 search engine patents to know from 2019. The list of patents touches on various sectors of search, including Google News, local search knowledge graphs and more, and gives us a peek at the technology that Google is, or may one day be, using to generate search results. 

Knowledge-based patents. The majority of the list pertains to what Slawski categorizes as knowledge-based patents. 

One interesting example is a patent on user-specific knowledge graphs to support queries and predictions. Last year, Google said that “there is very little search personalization” happening within its search result rankings. Although the original patent was filed in 2013, a recent whitepaper from Google on personal knowledge graphs touches on many of the same points.

Local search-based patents. Google’s patent on using quality visit scores from in-person trips to local businesses to influence local search rankings was filed in 2015 but granted in July 2019.

The use of such quality visit scores was mentioned in one of Google’s ads and analytics support pages, and it mentioned that the company may award digital and physical badges to the most visited businesses, designating them as local favorites, Slawski said.

Search-based patents. Slawski also highlighted Google’s automatic query pattern generation patent, which evaluates query patterns in an attempt to extract more information about the intent of a search beyond whether it’s informational, navigational or transactional in nature. 

“That Google is combining the use of query log information with knowledge graph information to learn about what people might search for, and anticipate such questions,” Slawski wrote in his post, “shows us how they may combine information like they do with augmentation queries, and answering questions using knowledge graphs.”

Why we care. Of course, just because a company possesses a patent doesn’t mean it is now, or ever will be, implemented. But keeping an eye on Google patents can offer an interesting perspective on where the company is steering search and how it’s thinking about evolution of search.

For the full list of search engine patents to know from 2019, head to Slawski’s original post on SEO by the Sea.

About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.


Some companies still hesitate to invest in search engine marketing under the impression that paid ads don’t have an impact on purchasing behavior. 

After all, why pay for traffic when you can earn it with a well-executed SEO strategy, the thinking goes.

This view, however, is short-sighted. The value of SEM goes beyond establishing and fueling traffic, leads and conversions. Even more important than the straightforward return on investment, SEM can serve as a valuable branding tool that can make your company and your products be seen as a leader in your industry.

PPC advertising should be seen as a launching point for your business to interact with search engine users. Since paid search ads are the first thing people encounter when they search, PPC ads are an excellent opportunity to establish a positive brand impression.

The most effective search marketing strategy is one that includes both paid SEM as well as organic SEO, according to a Clutch analysis of survey results on the reasons people click on paid search ads. PPC often serves as an effective complement to SEO services by providing analytics that your business can use to inform its long-term search marketing strategy.

Here the following branding benefits that accompany an effective search marketing strategy.

1. Establish brand awareness and authority

People respond to search engine results that are the most relevant to them.

One-third of people (33%) click on a paid search ad because it directly responds to their search query, according to the Clutch survey, while more than one quarter clicked on an ad because it mentioned a brand they were familiar with.

The survey finds that more than three-quarters of users – 77% — are able to distinguish search ads from organic search results. As such, the ads that businesses create need to be relevant to search queries. If not, people will ignore them

Businesses can establish themselves as reliable brands to potential customers if they have ads that answer people’s search queries. The benefits of helpful ads can include improving their brand awareness and earning high-quality site traffic.

By establishing the top spot on search engine results pages with paid search listings, you send a clear signal that your company is relevant to the search.

This is particularly important for reaching mobile users, as phones often display only paid ads above the fold on the screen, meaning users have to scroll down to reach organic listings.

As users increasingly move to mobile to conduct search, the value of establishing an initial impression will increase.

2. Create a lasting brand impression

Consistent appearance across SERPs of similar topics creates the impression that your company is a comprehensive resource about a topic, and more broadly, in your industry.

For example, if your company sells used auto-parts, the best way to establish a lasting brand impression is to appear in search results for all terms related to your business, rather than just exact match phrases, in this case “used auto parts.”

To achieve this, your company should conduct research to determine natural variants of your company’s core keywords. Through this process, you can discover that terms such as “used car parts” also attract a solid number of monthly searches.


About The Author

Clutch, a ratings and reviews platform for B2B marketing and technology services providers. He is also a senior writer for a B2B news and how-to site.