15 Aug New Google patent for identifying and dealing with SEO manipulation
A new Google patent seems to be aimed at dealing with web, pages and documents which have been identified as having an ‘indication of rank-manipulation.’
The document states that the rank manipulation may be identified by changes in ranking value of one of the following.
- a site associated with the document,
- a domain associated with the document,
- a link associated with the document, or
- a linking document associated with the document.
The patent goes on to specify the actions taken (rank transition factors) if one of the above triggers a red flag. Surprisingly these actions are to be carried out by “randomly selecting one of the plurality of rank transition functions.”
These rank transition functions include
“causing the rank, for the document, to initially move in a direction, with regard to the first rank and the second rank, before moving in an opposite direction with regard to the first rank and second rank during the transition period.”
“causing the rank, for the document, to decrease and to increase during the transition period. “
This transition period lasts “a plurality of days. “
The purpose isn’t clear but in summary it seems that if a link, document or website changes, the knock-on effect to all associated pages may be fluctuations in the search results. which is something we already regularly see for many pages. The nature of these fluctuations may be chosen randomly and the whole process may result in the page or document receiving a negative or positive ranking score. The algorithm may then “designate the document as being subjected to rank-modifying spam”