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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

Google Patent: Ads to Target Community Members
Identifies "influencers" and assigns ranking

 3:44 pm on Jul 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

A computer-implemented method for displaying advertisements to members of a network comprises identifying one or more communities of members, identifying one or more influencers in the one or more communities, and placing one or more advertisements at the profiles of one or more members in the identified one or more communities.

Network Node Ad Targeting [appft1.uspto.gov]

So, you mean to tell me that people are using their Social Networking Profiles for Advertising Opportunities? Oh, that just can't be.




 11:36 pm on Jul 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Interesting, P1R... I find the part about "identifying one or more influencers in the one or more communities" particularly intriguing.


 12:03 am on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

well its years ago that i saw Google as the friendly neighbour, I NEVER seen a company try to get so much info about each and every person in the world as google, they want to know your every step, its scary, Im just waiting for the first hacker to get all that info.


 2:36 am on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I find the part about "identifying one or more influencers in the one or more communities" particularly intriguing.

I hope it's doesn't mean the process of identifying and clicking on their own ads...


 4:15 am on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I find the part about "identifying one or more influencers in the one or more communities" particularly intriguing.

Me too! In fact, I find "all the parts" interesting. If we look at the landscape right now, it is ripe for the picking! I am so happy I got most of my profiles set up in the late 90s and early 00s. And, anytime something hits the community scene that I find interesting, I'm setting up a profile. The uniqueness of my username allows me to power one "profile identity".

Can you imagine? Man, this whole concept really opens up a world of opportunity for all those Social Networking Freaks, including myself. I would imagine many of us at WebmasterWorld are prime targets for this particular patent.

If I had a community like WebmasterWorld? I'd probably be thinking about expanding the user profiles a bit to include "other" communities that we are a part of. You know, that whole "wherein the means for identifying one or more communities and identifying one or more influencers in the one or more communities is further configured to rank the plurality of members belonging to each of the one or more communities based on the links between the members of each community" thingy. Those patents can sure be confusing. I have to read through them multiple times before a lot of it sinks in. I'm waiting for Bill Slawski to do his write up. After I read that, I'm sure I'll "fully" understand. That guy has a way with patents. :)

So, this one should be of major interest to Community Owners, Leaders, etc. Google is coming to get us, it won't be long. All of us will soon have a GoogleBadge to sport around. And, it will be connected realtime to our "Master Profile" which is now part of The Gorg. We will be assimilated one way or another. If we won't come voluntarily, they'll just buy us. I ain't goin' out like that!

How much? Really? Oh, hold on now, let me think about that... ;)

So, what's your PersonalRank?

W1 ¦ W2 ¦ W3 ¦ W4 ¦ W5 ¦ O1 ¦ O2 ¦ O3 ¦ O4 ¦ O5 ¦ O6 ¦ O7 ¦ O8 ¦ O9 ¦ O10


 4:31 am on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Oh, this is just sick:

7. The method of claim 2, further comprising ranking the plurality of members belonging to each of the one or more communities based on the links between the members of each community.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the influencer is the member with the highest rank.

9. The method of claim 2, wherein the network comprises an online social network.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the one or more advertisements are placed solely on the profiles of the one or more influencers.

24. The advertisement server of claim 13, wherein the one or more advertisements are placed solely on the profiles of the one or more influencers.

Dear Google: At the risk of losing a dime of advertising revenue OR losing the race to claim a plurality of advertising revenue by force of intellectual property did you ever consider the consequences of being perceived as stalking people and analysing people for their personal potential to drive revenue?

I can wait for this little patent to make its way around the blogosphere, forums, etc.

Yes, people, that IS Google watching you, categorizing you, ranking you and - in the end - using the best minds it can find to make coin. Thanks to you.

Oh, and it gets even better (sicker?).

Here's to the genius who patented a system whereby an advertiser can automatically - exponentially - "get its message out whilst deploying the least number of ad impressions".

You all getting this? "Hey, target the influencer with out ads and that influencer will do the rest of our work for us".

I know the concept and the practice of WOMM and influencer marketing has been around for awhile. I cringe at the idea of asking someone I know "Hey, are you talking to me as a friend or as a paid personal promoter?" "Hey, do you really drink Coke OR is that can of Coke in your refridge a paid placement?"

This is just plain icky.

[edited by: Webwork at 4:43 am (utc) on July 7, 2008]


 4:54 am on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wait. Wait! I know! I'll file a patent.

"A Method or System for Backcharging Google or Any Other Company that Exploits or Attempts to Exploit a Person's Role as an Influencer."

1. A system or method for "an influencer" determining when ads are being targeted to said influencer due to their influencer status.

2. A system or methord for identifying the advertiser that is using an influencer targeting system, attempting to exploit that influencer's social capital.

3. A system or method for a targeted influencer's profile page to automatically telephone the advertiser, explaining that the influencer being targeted is aware that he/she is being targeted and thereupon demanding payment - equal to 1/2 the economic benefit the advertiser expected to derive from targeting the influencer - OR the influencer will otherwise begin to relentlessly badmouth the advertiser's product(s) or services.

Anyone see anything wrong with this counter-patent?

Oh? Extortion? Really?

Influencer: "Hmm . . I'm not quite sure. You mean it's fairplay for an advertiser to target an influencer, with the aim of secretly duping that person into being their message boy and thereby seeking to profit from that person's social skills, their acquired "social capital" derived from years of good works but any quid-pro-quo is a no-no?"

Google/Advertiser: "Just do our bidding and stop thinking so much! Be naive, dammit! Go forth and promote! It's only okay for this system to operate if you are so dumb you don't know you are being targeted."

Influencer: "Seems only fair, say as a counter-measure to involuntary servitude, the shameless attempt to commercially exploit social circles and interpersonal trust, etc. that some form of compensation should be provided."

Google/Advertiser: "Oh, but that would transform this process into a paid promotion . . and there might be a need to disclose that fact. It's so much better that we do it sneakily, automatically, so you don't realize you are being played - turned into out ad-message carrying pawn. Don't you think so?"

No. I don't.

[edited by: Webwork at 5:28 am (utc) on July 7, 2008]


 5:16 am on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Webwork, I Digg it when you get riled up! And, speaking of Digg, didn't they just release a new Digg Recommendation Engine or something like that? Would this be similar in nature? ;)

Google is purely advertising driven. They are no longer search driven, that part of the puzzle is already locked up, for now. If they keep up with the "advertising" push, they may just find themselves with a bunch of unhappy people on their hands. They are quickly becoming a bit too "in my pocket" if you ask me.

We need some new tools on the market. You know, something to "cloak" our profiles. Oh boy, there goes a new cottage industry, eh? I'm going to create a Gadget that "follows you" and keeps tabs on your every move. Every time you make a post, it goes into the Gadget Gizmo and becomes part of your "Global Profile". That's the one we want Google to see.

And, if you think the whole "Top Posters" scene is out of control now? Woo-hoo, get ready to rumble! The Gadget, Gizmo, Widget marketplace just became a frenzy. There are already a few that caught on to this a while ago and have a solid foothold in the market place. Who is next to capitalize on "the influencers" in a community?

Wait! You mean to tell me that this already happens? Money is exchanging hands between "influencers" to "influence" topics within specific communities? I just find that really hard to believe...

Oh, here's a good one...

[0061] In another implementation, the contact information for a member may be determined from the member's profile. Subsequently, upon approval by the member, an advertiser may send advertisements to the member's contact information in lieu of or in addition to displaying advertisements on a web page that the member frequently visits.

Now that is what I call targeting. They are going to ask for my permission to serve me ads on websites that I visit instead of sending advertisements to my contact information in my profile? You better not start spamming me through my profile! I don't think Brett will take real kindly to that, no way Jose! You should see what they do to Sticky Mail Spammers around here...

[0062] In another implementation, an advertiser may be a member of the online social network. An advertiser may display advertisements on their profiles. Members interested in the products and services being advertised may establish links with the advertiser's profile. In this manner, an advertiser may attract consumers while also seeking out consumers.

Hey Webwork, read from the bottom up. The good stuff is usually buried towards the bottom. I can picture you as this cartoon character with a head shaped like one of those "screaming knock-off whistles" with steam and all. :)


 5:33 am on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Nice find P1R! It will be interesting to see how this actually plays out on the web. Trying to influence the influencer could be skating on thin ice as well - if he/she doesn't like it then badmouthing rather then praises will be heard (and we all know that bad word spreads faster then good one). Will the advertiser then blame/sue/etc Google for delivering the ad to the wrong "influencer"?
Also once realizing that you are influencer could 'corupt' you as well - d*gg and their scheme of user ranking and privileges (aka influencer) is a good example of what can happen...


 5:42 am on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I type too slow - you beat me to digg reference but

I'm going to create a Gadget that "follows you" and keeps tabs on your every move. Every time you make a post, it goes into the Gadget Gizmo and becomes part of your "Global Profile". That's the one we want Google to see.

This is already out there - perhaps not in 'described Google fashion" yet

take a look at swurl dot com - it's "Bring your web life together"

You just do your normal stuff online, Digg stuff, Delicious stuff, favorite Youtube videos, Twitter, rent videos on Netflix, bookmark songs on Last.fm, post photos on Flickr, etc. And Swurl brings it all together in a really deep way. We also enhance data, adding trailers to movies you rent and Lyrics to songs you bookmark.


 5:51 am on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just did a simple test to see where this might be targeted first. Here's my order of Social Community Ranking based on the first 10 notable results. Your mileage will vary. I'm looking forward to my BMW ads! Those should make a few bucks here and there. ;)

Personal Website
Search Engine Watch
MyBlogLog < They caught on!
Bimmerforums < Oooh laaa laaa, big money clicks!

Yup, WebmasterWorld Profiles are probably at the top of the food chain out of all of them. Hopefully you have one of those really unique usernames and will be able to "globalize" your PersonalRank. Just think, you now have to worry about "splitting" your PersonalRank. Snicker, snicker, snicker...

I'm sure Brett will be along to comment. He knows just how many profile views are done around here. Probably just as many as visits! I know I am constantly reviewing profiles, following topic links, etc. Google is slowly weaving webs within webs.


 11:22 am on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

one question though.


is this thread a test drive of the system?


having fun dialogues at dinner where everyone is an agent. influencers who are advertisers, advertisers who are influencers. or is this no different from 'can we send you messages about...' checkboxes on signup forms? I mean apart of the system that tells who to target... which is of course the main concern here.


 1:11 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Privacy freaks: Remember you don't have to know EVERYTHING about a user to build a very marketable profile. As my friends in the supermarket industry have told me, they can even project who is gaining weight, when the "time of the month" of is for their female shoppers, etc., using those "discount cards" that track every purchase. And, very often, it's simply too much data. No one cares after a certain point.

I'm waiting for the psycho-graphic folks to get to work: People who often buy roasted chickens on Thursdays are most likely to be interested in purchasing a new pick-up truck.

In any case, the demographics is the promise of the web that has not been fulfilled. And this is where the web has GOT to go if it is going to get the ad dollars that once flowed to TV. If it is going to happen, this will do it.


 3:12 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

It seems that this will make usernames even more desirable. How will we protect ourselves from impostors? There are a couple of people have copied my username and started to use it on other forums. Who gets all the credit? Hopefully me because my WebmasterWorld "joined" date is first by far. I own the URL too :)


 3:25 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Privacy freaks

Weeks, no one has framed this issue or their concern "around privacy", although that could be added.

I'm certain it is easy for many to interpret or construe this as "marketing business as usual", i.e., the same game as always just a different format.

Google: "Hey, this behavior, of people influencing others, has been going on for years. Magazine advertisers have known this for generations. Google is just claiming to have invented an automated system to exploit the trust that people have formed with others, wherever Google can find trusted or authority relationships, and Google can find them better than anyone else . . and thereby profit."

Go ahead, Google, and patent the process. You think people aren't already cynical? Let's turn it up a notch. Borg everyone who has had an original or trusted thought or idea. Legitimize the whole damned manipulative process by getting the U.S. governments seal of intellectual property approval.

Dear Thought Leaders: Aren't you flattered that Google thinks so highly of you that they might target you?

Actually, it may not be that they think so highly of you but that they think so highly of the opportunity to exploit, for profit, the trust you have gained with others, and they think so highly of the profits they can make that they patented the whole damned seedy process.

Genius, Google, just genius.

[edited by: Webwork at 3:31 pm (utc) on July 7, 2008]


 4:02 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Webwork - Well Put!

I started reading this thread this morning and tried to get the reaction of some of the Web Designers and Programmers hear at the shop. All I got were stares of confusment. They couldn't wrap their minds around the fact that Google wouldn't be infringing on any Privacy Policies becasue they would just be making an affiliation with the different communities. In essence, and correct me if I'm wrong (I skimmed the "Patent"), but they would just be using an Adwords type system to generate advertisements in threads such as this in accordance with the topic of the thread and the user profiles of the people in that thread.

Its seems to me that Google still has the hurdle of gaining the affiliation with each community. Although I don't think this would be tough because all Google needs to do is way the almighty dollar and there they'll be like moths to the flame.

L8r - Saxman


 4:13 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

So, what's your PersonalRank?

W1 ¦ W2 ¦ W3 ¦ W4 ¦ W5 ¦ O1 ¦ O2 ¦ O3 ¦ O4 ¦ O5 ¦ O6 ¦ O7 ¦ O8 ¦ O9 ¦ O10

Since I keep mostly low-profile profiles my PersonalRank would be kind of low. So how about throwing in another series at the lower end, say E1 through E9? Can't have influencers without folks to influence (and those E6s - E9s that keep all those Ws and Os noses clean). ;-)


 4:15 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks Webwork, pageoneresults, and others for your detailed thoughts and explanations, now it seems more obvious what Google is up to.

I think such media influence already exists and flourish on TV networks (even on news).


 6:45 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

The Web lends new meaning to the phrase "relationship doomed to fail".

I guess (virtually) hanging around too many folks who see the WWW "as an opportunity" to gain from "social networks" is increasing my dour view of trends in socializing and human relationships. And these aren't bad people. It's simply a reality they see emerging and, being smart people, that are at work discerning the best ways to . . engage the opportunity, the emerging reality?

I'm not going to say that "relationship" is a holy state that any one or all of us have not, at some point, "used" - taken advantage of, exploited, used to our advantage. But you know what? For me and likely for many others the sense of "cheapening the relationship" OR "cheapening one's self" is almost always associated with - was a "cost of" - "using" or "exploiting" or "taking advantage of" or "seeking personal gain" from relationship(s). It cheapens us and/or it cheapens the relationship - somehow. So, self-aware "of that", I seek gain or advantage or opportunity from relationship most hesitatingly. For the most part I am satisfied and happy just to know you, to know you exist, and from time to time to pass the time with you in dialogue or simply in your presence. In other words, "nothing to gain".

That, to me, is the heart of relationship and relationships.

Then there's the business of relationship(s) and all the other interpretations, manifestations, or "creations of relationship" - such as co-worker, in-laws, etc. And you get to choose the "how to-s", hows and all the rest each time, for everyone you meet. Mostly as an expression of yourSelf.

And then there's the idea of profiting from relationship, particularly relationships of trust, and making that idea of profiting from trusted relationships into an automated system and a proprietary right and a profit engine. (Ya, I hear some of ya. It's all just advertising and marketing as usual. Nothing here to see. Move on.)

So now the age of the pervasive exploitation - and cheapening of - "relationship" is upon us. How fortunate for us that we live in the age of the Web?

Google, you have lent new meaning - added a new dimension - to the idea of cheapening relationships. In classic Google form you have automated it.

How incredibly shallow and stupid and revealing . . and no doubt profitable, as measured by money alone, "your service" will likely be.

At what cost to us all and what more to come in the race to leech profit from every expression of humanity - online?

[edited by: Webwork at 7:26 pm (utc) on July 7, 2008]


 7:02 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Webwork, I entirely agree with you.

There always have been and there always will be parties who go into a relationship of any kind for a pure opportunistic reason but what G is patenting takes the biscuit for any opportunism. How low will they go ?


 7:58 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

To be clear, the one thing I don't agree with is the use of the influencer; truly enough I don't think the advertisements they're talking about implementing will be designed in any way to deceive us (by, as Webwork suggests, modifying profile contents to be in line with the advertiser). It seems that they'll take the information they garner by crawling sites such as WebmasterWorld and, if the site is part of the AdSense network, displaying advertisements on profile pages relevant to community interests based on these forum threads we communicate in instead of purely the content in our profile. I think that's the big technological breakthrough that warrants a patent here: the ability to associate a certain post with a certain user without a direct connection to the associated database, and more importantly to associate a collection of posts by certain users with a topic. It implies, to me at least, an ability to associate meaning or context.

One could certainly argue that it's no more difficult than interpretting a web page, but I'd argue otherwise. Take into account the broad range of subjects covered on WebmasterWorld, and indeed in any given thread on WebmasterWorld. We could well be categorized as a community who's interested in legal products. If the system works as the patent suggests, however, Google would be able to infer the context of our legal discussions as relating to computers through related links, posts, and individual user interests (as learned through crawling the site in question). Then again, maybe I'm crazy.

Benefits? We'll see fewer ads that we would never in a million years go for. Advertisers will effectively be able to work directly with their demographic, meaning less money will be spent on advertising, meaning companies will have a slightly easier time turning a profit, which is not a bad thing, but is also not a good thing.

Problems? There is the potential for the system to be used in the way Webwork suggests (wherein influencers are targetted by advertisers and may underhandedly use the trust bestowed unto them in the advertisers' best interests). That's clearly the most shared concern amongst the people here.

If I'm not crazy, and Google will be inferring interests contextually, I also fear that Google's attempts to categorize community interests will eventually lead to a system which micro-categorizes communities, and then eventually individual users. Barring the privacy concerns, this sounds borg-like. I'll echo my concerns here that Google will create the Singularity through the refinement of technologies like this.

December 21st, 2012


 8:23 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Now that I've gotten around to reading the patent, wow, if -- if -- it works as described it can actually answer the question "How can we monetize this neat social network thingie we paid a few billion bucks for?"

Banner advertising is ineffective as who the heck knows what these people are interested in. Contextual ads get thrown off by all the noise on the profile pages.

[0004]The present inventors recognized that blanket advertising across the network tends not to be cost-efficient to advertisers, since the members of the network tend not to be interested in the products and services being advertised unless the advertisements are relevant to the members' interest. Presenting to advertisers a community of members sharing a common interest provides advertisers with an opportunity to present products and services of interest to the members of the network, thereby maximizing the return on the investment made to advertising.

[0005]The present inventors also recognized that advertising to members of an online social network based solely on the content of their profile lacks targeted generation of advertisements. Members of a community may have content on their profile in addition to the common interest of the community, such as personal information, etc. Relying solely on the content of the profile of a member of a community decreases the specificity of advertisements to the community since the presence of additional information distorts the signal from the content related to the common interests.

What it comes down to appears to be pretty basic: leverage ages-old social network analysis with an ad-serving system to better target social networking pages. Good 'ole Rupert must be smiling right along now.

What I find a bit interesting is that all references are to interest "communities" within the network, or within an online social network. No references -- as yet -- to multi-social network mashups.


 9:19 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

...very often, it's simply too much data. No one cares after a certain point.

I'm sure you're right. In the supermarket scenario, the cost of sifting through that much data outweighs the benefit. Is $250K worth of regression and correlation analyses worth a 2% increase in the sale of carrots? Probably not.

However, I have a hunch that Google is getting the data mining aspect figured out and they so much more to gain if they do. I, for one, am reinforcing my tin hat as we speak.


 10:51 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thank you for confirming my decision to keep my community site miles away from Adsense. I'm "member #1" and some people actually do trust me.

(...Why does the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have a shopping cart?)


 3:30 pm on Jul 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

So, how does one influence the influencer?

Links to profiles! You watch, we're going to see more links to profiles as this becomes mainstream. In fact, I've already started my profile linking thing years ago. Not because of this patent either. There were some other research papers published back in the early 00s that made mention of something similar. You would do it naturally anyway if you had an "Internet Resume" or a "Internet Profile", its a given. ;)

My goal moving forward would be to "give credit" to the OP by linking to their profile in subsequent posts. And, at the same time, link to their profile from other communities. Get it? I'm still thinking about it... I know Webwork would be a top Influencer [webmasterworld.com], quite obvious eh. Here's the target... ;)

Member: Webwork
Moderator: Domain Names Forum
Directories Forum
Member Since: June 2, 2003
Last Post: July 7, 2008
Total Posts: 5720

Those few lines of statistics are a gold mine for this new concept. :)


 5:08 pm on Jul 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just had to include this...

Buddy Links Update
2000-01-07 - [webmasterworld.com...]

I remember all that way back then. When I was reading this patent, for some reason, the term "Buddy Links" kept coming up in me mind. It was like, "I've read about this in a less technical way somewhere, now where was that?". A few searches and BAM, there it was, Buddy Links.

Here are some notable comments from Brett_Tabke, Influencer [webmasterworld.com] in that 2000-01-07 topic...

Now, ain't this a Blast from the past?

It just goes to show you that search engine submission isn't everything, it is just one part of the bigger search engine promotion picture. Most of us get so focused in on getting indexed and listed in search engines that we over look other opportunities.

Someone robotically subscribed us to a few hundred high volume mailing lists (ugh).

One thing I have learned, is that this program is not for amateurs.

ack! Sites pointing their buddy links page at another recip links page will be dropped.


The second thing I've learned, is some people are under the delusion we are making money of this program. Other than the branding effect by association with the web site and the few cents in added advertising income (and I do mean Cents), this is a 100% freebie program. To those that have understood this and send a thank you note - I appreciate it and you are welcome.

THANK YOU Brett! I understand it.

This patent from Google sure sounds like Buddy Links with a new twist. :)

By the way, Brett_Tabke is an O10 Influencer [webmasterworld.com]. Brett could surely Buy and Sell Steaks [webmasterworld.com]. :)

Ah, a Gold Mine over here...

List of social networking websites

First one to come up with the "Ultimate List" wins!


 7:01 pm on Jul 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

What IF social network sites "no-index" profile pages? Would GoogleBot respect that?

What IF people really didn't want to be profile-stalked and ceased joining social network sites that facilitated profile stalking?

IF Google is "about this business" how long before every other bot joins in?

How do you tell an influence seeking bot "Leave me the hell alone!"?

"No index" "No cache" "No follow" "No influence"?

What follows InfluencerBot? SinglesBot - that searches for profile info that suggests that you are unmarried and starts feeding up dating ads to you profile page? Certainly that is following, for once "your profile" is known YOU WILL BE TARGETED. The list goes on.

Get that: YOU WILL BE PROFILED and targeted. It is already going on with "behavioral targeting" and, no doubt, from all the information that Google has been collecting about you from all their user-friendly "services": Toolbar, GMail, etc.

Do you really want to be followed around the Web by a bot on a mission to profit from you, your friends and your credibility?

There will be no end to this absent some serious intervention.

Might the very act of bots targeting influencers for influencing have a corrosive effect on the influence of influencers?

I asked Malcolm Gladwell, at PubCon V(?) "How will be tell truth in the future?", not so much as a question but as in idea for a book that might be worth writing and reading. Consider it Blink II.

Now that you all can plainly see the assault on perception that has been going on the generations - and, IMHO, accelerating lately, with InfluencerBotSense being just another tweak to "the message tweaking/spin industry" (true or not true or bottrue?) - I really want to know.

Just how in the hell will we know at least when we are close to some bit of truth about anything?

InfluencerSenseBot, is that you speaking? )<0>..<0>(

[edited by: Webwork at 7:04 pm (utc) on July 8, 2008]


 7:55 pm on Jul 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

What IF social network sites "no-index" profile pages? Would GoogleBot respect that?

My guess is that it would have to, either that or face a barrage of 403s.

But I think my better guess is the more likely: G won't run into noindexes because the techniques and processes in this patent aren't meant to scour the entire web (for the moment), but to better monetize individual large social networks with which they have contracts (hence the smile on Rupert Murdoch's face).

I think this directly addresses the points raised in this recent Barron's post, GOOG’s MySpace Problem: Serving Irrelevant Ads [blogs.barrons.com].

We’ll leave it for Google to figure out social networking search, but with 74 million domestic MySpace users monthly and nearly 120 million globally, that spend an average of 240 minutes per month on MySpace, we firmly believe Google will come up with a better algorithm,” [Richard Greenfield] writes. “The size of the revenue opportunity is simply to large to ignore. They are not going to walk away from MySpace in two years, they are simply going to develop a better method for monetizing a massive number of eyeballs and searches on MySpace.

(Emphasis added.)

Now looking to the future, yeah, Google would run into a whole raft of privacy concerns if it tried to integrate data from different social networking sites. One of the biggest reasons is that it and other SEs aren't yet very good at aggregating data. We can see that when we look at some of the local search results and find three separate listing for Webwork; Webwork, Inc.; and Webwork, J -- and in most of these instances they have an actual physical address to work with. Can you imagine the confusion when they try to match the jimbeetle here with the jimbeetle there and the jimbeetle everywhere else on the basis of something as ephemeral as links -- and then get it wrong?

No, my best guess is that -- for now -- this patent simply addresses ad targeting problems within individual social networks; more specifically, how to monetize MySpace.


 9:03 am on Jul 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Facebook have been placing highly targeted ads for sometime now - as their ad system is quite good, just not very cheap.

Google ads already have the option of targeting different demographics - isnt this for ads appearing on social networks?


 3:15 pm on Jul 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Perhaps related - consequences of what people put in their profiles from WebmasterWorld 's AdSense forum post (i know that g's AdSense bot is different then indexing bot but...)

...to filter all the content people are writing in their profiles. Sometimes people write something bad in their profile and now it looks like google is scanning all the profiles on my site personally.


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