The real meaning of Google’s Many Patents

Google has been keeping the patent office busy the last couple years, and reading all those patents has been keeping quite a few SEO gurus busy as well. But figuring out what all those patents are really about is actually pretty easy. In fact, you don’t even have to read them.

Google is acquiring and hoarding Intellectual Property (IP) as a means to create a barrier to entry. This is a marketing and business idea, not an engineering and technical one. By patenting everything under the sun, they tie up core algorithms so that would-be competitors are blocked from using it to build search services. Google is not the first to use this practice — Intel in particular is known for it.

Google also profits from the added advantage that it keeps SEOs confused and busy reading long-winded material that isn’t actually being used, and probably won’t be.

That said, some of these "disclosures" are worth a look and the ideas should at least be tested against the index to see if there is any sign of them being implemented. Don’t count on it. Measure for it. For any one of these patents it’s a far better bet that they are just sitting on it, and not actually using it.

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