Every now and then I see a thread in the discussion forums come up talking about a patent being awarded to Google. The most recent is a thread at Black Hat World where the SEO tells webmasters to keep their heads up in preparation for something big.
The thread cites a post from SEO By The Sea that talks about how Google was awarded a patent for Systems and methods for detecting hidden text and hidden links.
Heads up on that?
Even without a patent, you don't think Google had something in place for detecting hidden text and links? It is in their Google guidelines and there have been penalties for these things for years.
Google's Matt Cutts told us before that patents do not specifically dictate what is in the algorithm. They may have patents written well after the concept is in the algorithm. They may have patents written and awarded that are never used in the algorithm. Patents have no direct influence on the algorithms.
Of course, patents are fun and interesting to read.
Here is a video from Matt Cutts on the misconception of patents:
Forum discussion at Black Hat World.