Ranking Documents, Patent of Google Targeting Spammers

ranking documents patent

In search engine optimization, visibility or getting on the top pages is the main goal. And search results actually contribute to the biggest amount of traffic. Even statistics provided by Powerreviews, February 2012 shows that 79% of online shoppers spend at least 50% of their shopping time researching for product. Even Interconnected world : Shopping and personal Finance, 2012 revealed that about 44% of online shoppers begin by using search engine and about 61% of global internet users spend time for researching product online.

With the search activities, it turns out that Google has about 66.7% total search market share much higher than Bing and Yahoo and this is according to comScore, May 2012 statistics. With that figure, the only logic that you will see is that of rank modifying spammers patentcourse Google will do its best to provide quality search results since they are the leading one when it comes to search engine usage but have you heard about ranking documents? Actually this was widely talked about last month and even now there are still many questions popping up about this. Thanks to @Bill Slawki who is passionate about patents and the first one to share about this post which is entitled: Google Rank-Modifying Spammers Patent and that is why I am inspired to share about this topic since this one is truly interesting. If you have a website and you are eager for ranking in top searches this one must be consider.

Let us refresh again.

What is the Ranking Documents all about?

This is invented by Ross Koningstein of Google which was filed last January 5, 2010.

And here is the abstract:


The “Ranking Documents” patent of Google is now being utilized to detect the illicit techniques employed by the spammers or some webmasters to manipulate and/or modify the ranking of sites. This causes perplexity among those who are unaware of the said practice, specifically, in terms of the progress of their site’s rank that seems to be inconsistent with the strategies they utilize. It is, thus, a misleading trick that could cause a webmaster to be deluded every time he looks at the false ranking of his client’s site. And what is to be noted further are the strategies used by the spammers which may include Invisible text, Keyword stuffing, Page redirects, and many other malpractices contrary to the rule of the search engine. But with the said newly invented patent, it is expected that this could detect the ranking errors previously and usually existed, but unconsciously experienced by some, if not most, webmasters who are unaware of such. However, it’s not just for the Google to resolve; the webmasters have a big role to play in strictly observing the “quality guidelines” of the search engine so as to avoid being victimized by any spam action that could lead to untimely penalty.

And just see the full Ranking Documents to understand it fully.

What are considered as rank-modifying spamming techniques?

These techniques are not only tricking search engines but of course the users or the searchers and these involve the following:

Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the term referred to the attempt of filing the content with the same keywords repeatedly in aiming for better ranking in Google. This situation happens when a specific keyword tends to be dominating in list or in paragraph. It is composed of a code that is almost unreadable. It is often placed in Meta, alt or title tags and when Google founds out about this; your site’s ranking will be greatly affected or worse, banned.


“I am the SEO consultant who really specializes in the field of SEO like a real SEO consultant. If you like to make you website rank on the first page result, I can help you better than other SEO consultant because I know exactly what it takes to be an SEO consultant.”

Invisible text and links

Text and links seems to be not a part of a paragraph but it is. There are several techniques to do it.

Using the same color of text and background (white to white or black to black)
Font Size is set to zero (0px).
Text is place behind an image.
Use of tags in cascading style sheet (CSS) to hide the text

Hidden links are links that are intended to be crawled by Googlebot. Once caught, your site can be permanently on search engine’s listing.

Redirecting Pages

The landing page that has a keyword stuffed page or hidden text before taking you into the real web page. Redirect page has no sense at all for humans but they are intended to show up on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Meta tag stuffing

Like keyword stuffing, Meta tags can also be stuffed. A specific keyword has been repeated often in Meta tags without even a relation with the website. Meta tags are hidden in HTML code.


<meta name= SEO Consultant SEO Consultant SEO Consultant SEO Consultant SEO Consultant>

Link-based manipulation

Link-based manipulation is defined in the patent to be the creation or manipulation of a first document or a set of first documents to include a link or a number of links to a second document in an attempt to increase the rank of the second document. Some existing search engines determine the rank of a document based on the number or quality of the links that point to the document.

What the Search Engine Gurus are saying about this?

The first one to share about this, Bill Slawki’s point this is actually his one of his comments from his blog post about the ranking documents:

bill's point

Then next one is also an interesting point from Barry Adams from his post Adversarial Relationship between Google and SEO :

Barry's point

Here’s another one from Searchengineland’s post giving the opinion of Danny Sullivan :

Danny Sullivan's point

And lastly, my point.

Face the consequences of your actions if you are attempting to play outside Google’s Guidelines. Obviously, everyone wants organic ranking, especially in Google. Usually, If we see undesirable ranking of our websites, our initial reaction is to manipulate Google’s ranking. I agree with Danny that Google does not figure out all SEO as SPAM, its everywhere. But, you are unlucky if you are caught spamming in Google.

A piece of advice: It’s better to abide Google’s Patent to reduce spam activities. As Google’s getting smarter, Spam system evolves. However, don’t be discouraged. Remember that SEO is an experimental method of problem solving.

What’s your view or have you experience the effect of this one?

Al Gomez

SEO Consultant, Online Marketer & Blogger, Web Developer & DLINKERS Founder.

“Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”