Marketing 3 min read

Google Patent Application may Explain Medic Update

Page Light Studios /

Page Light Studios /

A new Google Patent may provide answers to some essential questions. For example, can Google measure Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EAT)?

The search engine giant initially filed the patent back in August 2018.

At first glance, the Google patent — Website Representation Vector to Generate Search Results and Classify Website — looked a bit complex. However, Bill Slawski did an excellent job of dumbing it down in his write-up.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

What’s the Google Patent About?

The pattern describes a way to classify search queries and websites based on topics.

According to Slawski, the patent application uses neural networks to understand the features and patterns behind websites. And it uses this data to classify those sites.

In the patent, the algorithm works with a sort of knowledge domain. And this could be topics such as finance, health, technology, etc. Search queries and webpages can be said to belong to a specific knowledge domain.

Slawski noted in his article:

“Queries from specific knowledge domains (covering specific topics) might return results using sites that are classified as being from the same Knowledge Domain.”

That means the search engine might be able to determine the category of the site. Then, it’ll assess whether the website was written by an expert to either increase or decrease the level of authority.

“For instance, the website classifications may include a first category of websites authored by experts in the knowledge domain, e.g., doctors,” the patent reads. “The second category of websites authored by apprentices in the knowledge domain, e.g., medical students, and a third category of websites authored by laypersons in the knowledge domain.”

Sounds a lot like EAT, a concept that Google preaches in its search quality raters guideline.

Was There a Medic Update?

The patent application also has a curious timing. It was published in August 2018, around the same period Google released the August 1st core update – nicknamed the Medic update.

At the time, the search ranking update seems to affect health and medical sites mainly. Meanwhile, this patent application has dozens of references to health, medical, doctors, and other related terms.

With that said, this is still a patent application, and Google rarely confirms whether it’s using an algorithm described in a patent. In other words, this patent may or may not have made it into the Google algorithm.

Read More: Google Quietly Rolls out new Local SERP in Europe

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