Word is that Google has recently applied for a patient for Google News’ ranking algorithm. Apparently the patient was filed in September 2003 and the factors included in determining the ranking is the “amount of important coverage produced by an identified news source, a human opinion of that source, network traffic to the source, circulation statistics, staff size, breadth of coverage and the number of bureaus the news source operates.”
Ok, two things. One, I know Google News is controlled by a bot as opposed to Yahoo! (MSN?) etc being edited by humans, and I also do know that it searches 4,500 sources at a time, but honestly, is it really that mind-blowing technology that needs a patient? Second thing. I appreciate all the factors that go into determining a news source, but I do agree with what Rich Screnta, CEO of Topix.net had to say about this.
“It sounded to me like it would be useful not just for news but for search results as well, might be leaving a lot of really good material on the floor.”
If Google can do such things on the index page, why not do it for the Google News search results as well, and Froogle, and maybe even include some of the factors in the web search results. Or does it already?
Who knows, but one thing I think that may do good for Google and not for us if the patient gets accepted is say good-bye to anymore Google News-like inventions/automated bot determining news engines.