Newly-granted Google patent sheds light on how the search engine sees entities

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big fan of reading Google patents — or, when I’m feeling lazy, reading Bill Slawski’s analysis of them over on his blog, SEO By The Sea.
I also have a particular interest in those involving entities, as they are (to me at least) the ones that are defining the problems Google is trying to solve. As machine learning evolves, entities represent how search engines increasingly are viewing the world.
Before we dig into this latest Google patent, which was granted on December 22, 2016, let’s first define an entity to make sure we’re all on the same page. According to the patent, the definition is as follows:
[A]n entity is a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well-defined and distinguishable. For example, an entity may be a person, place, item, idea, abstract concept, concrete element, other suitable thing, or any combination thereof.
To keep things simple, you can casually think of an entity

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Exploring a newly-granted Google patent around social signals

Disclaimer: When discussing patents, it’s important to remember that simply filing a patent does not mean a technology is in use or will ever be used. It is simply a strong indication that an idea is being considered and likely tested.
Every now and then, a patent comes across my radar that gets me excited, and one granted recently to Google fits that bill perfectly.
We’re heard repeatedly from Google that social interactions are not a search ranking signal.  In fact, you can read a Tweet from Google’s Gary Illyes in response to the statement, “Some controversy over whether Google takes social into account for SEO….” His reply:

@RicardoBlanco take a look at this video. https://t.co/zPKuZRNaoy The short version is, no, we don’t@louisgray @PRNews @JohnMu
— Gary Illyes (@methode) June 7, 2016

So the answer is “No,” right?
Maybe, and here’s where it gets interesting. Understanding that the folks at Google tend to give answers that are technically correct but not always in the spirit of

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How Trust & Unique Identification Impact Semantic Search

There are many factors that are key to the notion of semantic search. Two that are critical to understand that have not been written about much from an SEO point of view are trust and unique identification.
These two factors lie at the core of the many changes we see happening in search today, alongside Google’s ever-growing knowledge graph and their move in the direction of semantic search.
The Semantic Web Stack
The notion of trust is a key component in the semantic web. Below is an illustration that depicts the semantic web stack, with trust sitting at the top.
Semantic Web Stack (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_Web_Stack)
Trust is achieved through ascertaining the reliability of data sources and using formal logic when deriving new information. Computers leverage or mimic this factor in human behavior in order to derive algorithms that provide relevant search results to users.
Search Result Ranking Based On Trust
Search Result Ranking Based on Trust is, in fact, the name of a Google patent filed in September 2012. The

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3 Google Patents You Need To Know About In 2016

It’s frustrating, isn’t it? When Google suddenly changes something, and you had no idea it was going to happen.
That’s where all the awkward conversations with your clients begin. And you have to try to figure out how you’re going to explain another change in strategy.
Now, while there may not be any way to become fully future-proof against Google changes (after all, they perform 500–600 minor changes a year, on top of their big updates), there are ways you can stay ahead of the game.
One of those ways is to understand the patents that Google is applying for and how they might impact search in the future.
In this article, you’re going to learn about three patents that could have a huge impact on future results — both for yourself and your clients.
A Quick Note On Patents…
Patents are funny old things.
While Google may file for them, there are no guarantees that they’ll ever come into play. They often file

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Google’s Quality Site Patent

Here is an interesting article about one of Google’s patents that deals with determining the quality of a site for ranking in the Organic results.  It talks about Paid Search as well. Here’s an outline of how they interpret it: I’m not sure if that makes any sense to you, but it sure is a wonky way to talk about it to me!  Google obviously doesn’t want to give away their secrets, but they do want to protect themselves from getting sued by someone else who patents this.  So they get strange Patents that have clues that

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