Google Patent: The Sites You Link To Should Have Reachability

Nov 9, 2012 • 8:19 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google ReachBill Slawski uncovered and decrypted yet another Google patent on reachability scores. The patent is named Determining reachability and was granted just a few days ago.

In short, it explains how Google may determine the value and ranking of your web site based on the who you link to and the reachability of those sites you are linking to. By reachability they mean the user interaction on the web sites you link to.

How is the reachability score calculated? Bill explains three points:

1) Google might begin by identifying secondary resources that are reachable through one or more links of a primary resource, where the secondary resources are within a number of hops (clicks, gestures, etc.) from the primary resource,

2) An aggregate score for the primary resource might be calculated based on the scores of the secondary resources, where the scores for those is calculated based on prior user interactions with the secondary resources,

3) That calculated reachability score can impact the ranking of the primary resource in search results.

So clearly based on this patent document, Google cares about the quality of sites you link to. Google is able to measure those site's reachability and your site's reachability.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto

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Richard Green

11/09/2012 01:46 pm

I wonder what they mean by "user interactions".


11/09/2012 02:01 pm

So one must be very careful in submitting links and first check what is the reachabilitof that website. Hmmm... increases a lot of work :)


11/09/2012 02:36 pm

So if I link to a YouTube video with a million views, I MIGHT see a boost in search traffic. Cutts did say a couple of years ago " In the same way that Google trusts sites less when they link to spammy sites or bad neighborhoods, parts of our system encourage links to good sites.". Interesting to see it in the patent office.

Compound Eye Ltd

11/09/2012 06:31 pm

If you're trying to create good content and a useful website, you'll be linking to websites that support that anyway. Some will be 'big' sites with a lot of reach, some will be smaller, niche sites, but any site's reach will grow if they offer something truly valuable. I hope Google doesn't decide that the quality of the websites linking to yours will affect your value.

Jobs in Cape Town

11/09/2012 09:44 pm

Should we all go and start linking to yahoo, cnn, google? What we don't and will never know is the degree of impact this is gonna have on the entire algorithm. It is just a fraction of the measuring tape.

Doc Sheldon

11/12/2012 03:58 am

So, Barry... what it sounds like is that my Dad was right when he kept telling me I'd be judged by the company I kept. ;-) This doesn't really seem like much of a departure from what we know has been true for quite some time, at least up until the point of actually assigning a "score". That innovation would raise a lot of interesting questions and possibilities, if they actually adopt such a process.

Doc Sheldon

11/12/2012 05:59 am

Actually, they've already decided that the quality of the websites linking to yours will affect your value. Granted, many bad links (probably the vast majority) are the product of ill-advised link-buying or link schemes... but the recent birth of an entire sub-industry of link "unbuilding" is testament to that.

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