What SEO doesn't like talking about spam? Now add a newly granted Google patent that talks about spam and an SEO is in heaven!
Bill at created a Cre8asite Forums thread about a new granted patent named Methods and systems for identifying manipulated articles. Here is the abstract:
Systems and methods that identify manipulated articles are described. In one embodiment, a search engine implements a method comprising determining at least one cluster comprising a plurality of articles, analyzing signals to determine an overall signal for the cluster, and determining if the articles are manipulated articles based at least in part on the overall signal.
In short, Google has come up with an formula for analyzing articles, placing them in a cluster and determining based on the linkage pattern between those articles if they are manipulating the web with spamming tactics.
Here is how Bill explains it:
A patent granted to Google today explores Web spam and the manipulation of documents and links on the Web. It describes how the rankings of pages may be influenced if they are identified as “manipulative.”
The identification of manipulative documents, how they might be grouped together, and how they could be treated by the search engine is described in some detail. That treatment might include removal of pages from the search index, reductions in rankings for pages, and possibly a change in how quality scores (PageRank) are calculated for links from manipulative pages.
The patent application was filed about 4 years ago. So Google may or may not be using all or some of these concepts within their current day algorithm. The fun part is the discussion and application of the patent to current day SEO trends.
Bill ends his thread with a teaser, "Anyone want to talk about spam? Paid links?"