While we are on the subject of patents today I wanted to highlight a very good thread on Cre8asite that is talking in detail about determining document freshness. Bill Slawski starts the thread off by going into some of the recent patents namely the Systems and methods for determining document freshness. Bill goes on to say that:
One of the problems that it addresses is that a "last-modified-since" on a document is often incorrect. That means that it cannot be used to accurately gauge the freshness of a document.
Quite interesting. The thread follows by discussing this effect as "Freshrank" in that search engines are looking for updates on pages. Now the information mentioned in the patent may not be in effect current effect, but it may in some fashion. One of the members details that Google wants to see updates in content, even if its just minor ones.
Someone also details a rumor that Google is planning to do another major update this summer and planning to leave things alone for awhile. If there is any truth in that, no ones know for sure. But you know how rumors spread.
Ammon Johns provides some insight on the patent and explains that:
In other words, I really don't believe that it is all that important as to whether a page itself updates regularly, so much as guaging whether the page continues to be a currently relevant citation. The age of the links will be far more important to guaging that than whether or not the page itself has been updated (except in regards to spotting ye olde Bait-n-Switch technique).
This also implies to how they might look at domain registration time. With the recent information from the last patent about this some people rush out to register their domain for the full possible time sometimes as much as 10 years from now. While none of that can't hurt, its debatable how much good it will do. As I have explained in some forums, Google is probably considering more how long the domain has been registered, or its current life (from registration till now), not its future life.
There is some more discussion in relation to the patent and other ones that have been released lately. Worth a quick visit.
Continue discussion at Cre8asite - Google Freshness of Pages Revisited