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Search Engine mailto:tag Test for Page Rank Adjustment Disclosure Number: IPCOM000127649D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Sep-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 27K

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This invention provides a ranking boost to sites whose owners are more responsive to their E-mails than other similarly ranked sites. It does this by occasionally sending an audit message to the owner and measuring how quickly they process it, and then factors this into its ranking algorithm.

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Search Engine mailto:tag Test for Page Rank Adjustment

This invention is a method by which a search engine will attempt to test how responsive a site owner is to their E-mail requests. It does this by first parsing the Web site looking for E-mail addresses.

Once the search engine finds an E-mail address associated with the web site, it will occasionally audit the responsiveness of the site owner by sending an E-mail to the address. This E-mail contains a message which says that this E-mail is from the search engine and is an audit message. It then instructs the user to click on the link provided and enter some value which is provided in an image. (So the message cannot easily be processed by a program.)

The search engine records when the audit message was sent out. It then tracks how much time elapses before the receiver reads the message and responds with the correct value. The search engine uses this information to adjust the site ranking based on how quickly the owner responds to the audit message. If audit messages to a web site's E-mail address are repeatedly bounced, the web site ranking is reduced or the site may even be flagged for removal from the list.

In the event that more than one E-mail address is found on the website, the system may audit them all. A better approach may be to determine the one that customers are most likely to use and audit that one. To do this the search engine looks at attributes of the E-mail address found. Font size and page placement are some good attributes to consider. It will also look at the names of the E-mail addresses such that if one address is and the other is the search engine will select to audit because it is more likely to be the one customers would use.

The search engine can further adjust the amount of rank given to (or taken from) a web site based on the type of E-mail address that is present. For example an address such as webmaster@ may not even go to the site owner, and may simply be there to report page problems. So this may have little impact on the rank while an address such as Jack@ is more likely to be the site owner and if audit messages to this address are not responded to in a timely fashion, it would have a larger impact on the rank. Additionally the search engine may be programmed to provide slightly less rank to sites with no E-mail address.

The amount of time the search engine allows for the audit message to be processed may vary. One embodiment may simply order the sites by the last (or average) response time and then use some bell curve approach to reward or punish sites at either end. The embodiment envisioned by the inventors would use a fixed scale or something like this to classify t...