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google is granted panted to rank items for searches on the desktop

3:00 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Temporal ranking scheme for desktop searching [patft.uspto.gov]

A system for searching an object environment includes harvesting and indexing applications to create a search database and one or more indexes into the database.

they will rank items based on their frequency of use:

A ranking scheme sorts searchable items according to an estimate of the frequency that the items will be used in the future.

it brings to mind the frequency of use metric labeling programs in 'add or remove programs' interface.

A computer program product for ranking an item among a group of items for a desktop search, the computer program product comprising a computer-readable medium containing computer program code for performing a method comprising: if the item has been previously opened using the desktop search, assigning a score to the item based on the time it was last opened using the desktop search; otherwise, assigning a score to the item based on a last-use date and penalizing the score based on a class associated with the item, the class indicating a frequency of use of the item; and displaying the item in response to a search query, the item displayed according to the score, wherein the item is an application, and the last-use date is the time the application was last launched.

it appears that google is aggressively moving towards user activity, while even ranking items on the search results, as last week's filing on 'Improving a Search Ranking Using Related Queries' connotes: