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Lawsuit Asks Google to Reveal Algorithm

U.K.-based chúng tôi a “search engine” for parents of young children, has sued Google on the basis that its organic search ranking apparently declined in March 2005, allegedly because it was unfairly “penalized” by Google. According to this Reuters article, the site lost “70 percent” of its organic traffic when it was “downgraded.” The lawsuit seeks financial damages and asks that Google reveal the methodology behind its Page Rank algorithm.

Having read only the coverage and not the actual complaint, I’m struck by a couple of things that are amazing about this lawsuit. First, I think it’s dead on arrival. I think the company probably knows this and either hopes for a nuisance settlement or is looking for publicity.

The suit contends that its rankings did not change on Yahoo!, MSN or other engines. But it seems to be saying that these other rankings don’t matter, because Google is responsible for the lion’s share of its traffic. There’s a sense of both dependence and entitlement here — and how search engine rankings can be “life or death” for an online business.

If Google were truly the only search engine and there were some unjustly punitive action that was directed toward KinderStart (and provable), perhaps this claim might have a chance. (Even then the damages would be highly speculative.) But given that there is a competitive marketplace and other engines can equally be used to find KinderStart, it’s unlikely that any court would rule in KinderStart’s favor. Think about the precedent: It would be the end of organic search — every other site would litigate when its ranking fell. Finally, given that it’s a trade secret, KinderStart is also audacious in asking for Page Rank to be revealed. There’s zero chance that this aspect of the suit will succeed either.

Greg Sterling, Local Search and Convergence Columnist – Greg Sterling is managing editor of The Kelsey Group who also writes the Local Media Journal Blog.

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Tracking Google Knowledge Graph Algorithm Updates & Volatility

Like the core algorithm, Google’s Knowledge Graph periodically updates.

But little has been known about how, when, and what it means — until now.

I believe these updates consist of three things:

Algorithm tweaks.

An injection of curated training data.

A refresh of Knowledge Graph’s dataset.

My company, Kalicube, has been tracking Google’s Knowledge Graph both through the API and through knowledge panels for several years.

When I wrote about The Budapest Update’ in 2023, for example, I had seen a massive increase in confidence scores. Nothing that seismic on the scores has happened since.

However, the scores for individual entities fluctuate a great deal and typically over 75% will change during any given month.

The exceptions are December 2023, and over the last four months (I’ll come to that later).

From July 2023 to June 2023, we were tracking monthly (hence the monthly figures).

Since July 2023, we have been tracking daily to see if we can spot more granular patterns. I hadn’t seen any until a conversation with Andrea Volpini from Wordlift sent me down a rabbit hole…

And there, I discovered some truly stunning insights.

Note: This article is specifically about the results returned by the API and the insights they give us into when Google updates its Knowledge Graph – including the size, nature, and day of the update — which is a game-changer if you ask me.

Major Knowledge Graph Updates Over the Last 8 Months

Sunday, July 12, 2023.

Monday, July 13, 2023.

Wednesday, August 12, 2023.

Saturday, August 22, 2023.

Wednesday, September 9, 2023.

Saturday, September 19, 2023.

Sunday, October 11, 2023.

Thursday, February 11, 2023.

Thursday, February 25, 2023.

You can check the updates on Kalicube’s Knowledge Graph Sensor here (updated daily).

For anyone following the core blue link algorithm updates, you might notice that the two are out of sync, up until February 2023 updates.

The exceptions I found are (with my wild theorizing in italics):

Reach, Scope & Scale of These Updates

We can usefully consider three aspects of an update:

The magnitude (reach/breadth), which is the percentage of entities affected (so far, between 60-80%).

The amplitude (scope/height), or the change (up or down) in confidence scores on a micro, per entity level (the average amplitude for the middle fifty has been around 10-15%).

The shift (scale/depth), which is the change in confidence scores on a macro level (the Budapest update aside, this is less than 0.1%).

What We Found by Tracking the Knowledge Graph Daily

The Knowledge Graph has very regular updates.

These updates occur every 2 to 3 weeks but with long pauses at times, as you can see above.

The updates are violent and sudden.

We see that 60-80% of entities are affected, and the changes are probably immediate across the entire dataset.

Updates to individual entities continue in between.

Any individual entity can see its confidence score increase or decrease on any day, whether there is an update or not. It can disappear (in a virtual puff of smoke) and information about that entity can change at any time between these major updates to the Knowledge Graph algorithm and data.

There are extreme outlying cases.

Individual entities react very differently. In every update (and even in between), some changes are extreme. A confidence score can increase multifold in a day. It can drop multi-fold. And an entity can disappear altogether (when it does reappear it has a new id).

There is a ceiling.

The average confidence score for the entire dataset rarely changes by more than one-tenth of one percent per day (the shift), even on days where a major update occurs.

It appears there may be a ceiling to the scores the system can attribute, presumably to stop the more dominant entities from completely crowding out the rest (thanks Jono Alderson for that suggestion).

Following the massive raising of that ceiling during the Budapest update, the ceiling appears to have not moved in any meaningful manner since.

Every update since Budapest affects both reach and scope. None since Budapest has triggered a major shift in scale.

The ceiling may never change again. But then it may. And if it does, that will be big. So stay tuned (and ideally, be prepared).

After a great deal of experimentation, we have isolated and excluded those extreme outliers.

We do track them and continue to try to see any obvious pattern. But that is a story for another day.

How We Are Measuring

We have isolated each of the three aspects of the changes and measure them daily on a dataset of 3000 entities. We measure:

How many entities saw an increase or decrease (reach/breadth/magnitude).

How significant that change was on a micro-level (scope/height/amplitude).

How significant the change was to the overall score (scale/depth/shift).

What Is Happening?

One thing is clear: these updates have been violent, wide-ranging, and sudden.

Someone at Google had (and perhaps still has) “a big red button.”

Bill Slawski mentioned to me a Bing patent that mentions exactly that process.

The last two updates on Thursdays smack of the developers’ mantra “never change anything on a Friday if you don’t want to work the weekend.”

A Google Knowledge Graph Dance

Slawski suggested a concept to me that I think speaks volumes. Google has been playing “musical chairs” with the data – the core algorithms and the Knowledge Graph algorithm have very different needs.

The core algorithms have a fundamental reliance on popularity (the probability that inbound links lead to your site), whereas the Knowledge Graph necessarily needs to put that popularity/probability to one side and look at reliability/probable truthfulness/authority — in other words, confidence.

The core algorithms focus on strings of characters/words, whereas the Knowledge Graph relies on the understanding of the entities those same words represent.

It is possible that the updates of the core and Knowledge Graph algorithms were necessarily out of sync, since Google was having to “reorganize” the data for each approach every time they wanted to update either, then switch back.

Remember the Google Dance back in the day?

At the time it was simply a batch upload of fresh link data. This could have been something similar.

As of February 2023, Is the Dance Over?

It remains to be seen if that is now a “solved problem.”

I would imagine we’ll see a few more out-of-sync dances and a few more weird bugs due to updates of each that contradict each other.

But that by the end of 2023, the two will be merged to all intents and purposes and entity-based search will be a reality that we, as marketers, can productively and measurably leverage.

However the algorithms evolve and progress, the underlying shift is seismic.

Classifying the corpus of data Google possesses into entities and organizing that information according to confidence in its understanding of those entities is a huge change from organizing that same data by pure relevancy (as has been the case up until now).

The convergence of the algorithms?

Opinion: The following things make me think that winter 2023/2023 was the moment Google truly implemented the switch “from string to things” (after five years’ worth of PR):

The three-month hiatus from October to February when the core algorithm was relatively active, but the Knowledge Graph updates were very clearly paused.

The announcement that the topic layer was active in November.

The introduction of passage-based indexing to the core algorithm in February that appears to focus on extracting entities.

The seeming convergence of the updates (this is fresh; we only have two updates to judge from, and our tracking might later prove me wrong on this one, of course).

The Knowledge Graph Is a Living Thing

The Knowledge Graph appears to be based on a data-lake approach rather than the data-river approach of today’s core algorithm (delayed reaction versus immediate effect).

However, the fact that entities change and move between these major updates and the fact that the updates appear to be converging suggests that we aren’t far from a Knowledge Graph algorithm that not only works on fresh data rivers but is also integrated as part and parcel of the core algorithm.

Here’s a specific example that maps the updates to changes in the confidence score for my name (one of my experiments).

That vertiginous drop doesn’t map to an update.

It was a blunder on my part and shows that the updates to individual entities are ongoing, and can be extreme!

Read about that particular disaster here in my contribution to an article by SE Ranking.

The Future

My take: The “big red button” will be progressively retired and the violent and sudden updates will be replaced by changes and shifts that are smoother and less visible.

The integration of entities into the core blue links algorithms will be increasingly incremental and impossible to track (so let’s make the most of it while we can).

It is clear that Google is moving rapidly toward a quasi-human understanding of the world and all its algorithms will increasingly rely on its understanding of entities and its confidence in its understanding.

The SEO world will need to truly embrace entities and give more and more focus to educating Google via its Knowledge Graph.

Conclusion

In this article I have purposefully stuck to things I am fairly confident will prove to be true.

I have hundreds of ideas, theories, and plans, and my company continues to track 70,000+ entities on a monthly basis — over 3,000 daily.

I am also running over 500 active experiments on the Knowledge Graph and knowledge panels (including on myself, the blue dog, and the yellow koala), so expect more news soon.

In the meantime, I’m just hoping Google won’t cut my access to the Knowledge Graph API!

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, March 2023

9 Conditions Your Breath Can Reveal

Bad breath also known as halitosis may be embarrassing, but in some cases, it may even cause anxiety. There are several health conditions, foods, and habits that are the main causes of bad breath. In several cases, you may improve bad breath with consistent proper dental hygiene. The main cause of bad breath is poor dental health habits which may be also a symptom of other health problems. If you have a problem with persistent bad breath in your mouth, then it can be also a symptom of gum disease. Gum disease is mainly or commonly caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth. If gum disease is not treated, then it may harm the jawbone and the gums. 

If you do not brush your teeth regularly then food particles may remain in your mouth and encourage bacterial growth between teeth around the gums that causes bad breath. Chewing or smoking tobacco may also cause bad breath, decrease your capability to taste foods, irritate the gums, and stain teeth. There are several other dental causes of bad breath are yeast infections of the cavities and mouth and poor fitting dental appliances. Many other diseases may cause bad breath such as diabetes, seasonal allergies, gastrointestinal issues, kidney or liver problems, chronic lung infections, and many more.

Find out these 9 Conditions Your Breath Can Reveal

There are several conditions your breath can reveal are discussed below – 

GERD May Cause Bad Breath – There are several digestive conditions including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and acid reflux may cause bad breath. If food does not move through the digestive system, then it may start to decay thus less amount of undigested food can even vomit which causes bad breath. During the condition of acid reflux, it makes stomach acid flow the wrong way back into the tube which links the throat to the stomach that causes a sour smell. 

Fishy Breath May be a Symptom of Kidney Failure – A fishy-odor urine smell bad breath that is similar to ammonia which can indicate kidney failure in the human body. The main work of kidneys in the human body is to remove toxic chemicals from the blood by creating urine. In the case of kidney failure, the kidneys become so damaged that they are not capable of filtering toxic chemicals and waste products from the blood in the human body. If this condition occurs then the toxic chemicals and waste products are not discharged and may accumulate nearly in each part of the human body. In this way, the fishy smell may occur if the kidneys fail which affects the respiratory system and can cause breathing problems. 

Postnasal and Allergies May Drip Lead to Foul Breath – Many respiratory tract infections such as sinusitis, flu, and bronchitis are very common causes of bad breath. These three respiratory tract infections may send mucus that is filled with bacteria through your mouth and nose which may cause bad breath. The nasal congestion can force one to breathe through the mouth which may lead to the growth of bacteria and can cause foul bad breath. 

Smoking causes foul breath – If you smoke regularly then it may cause a foul smell through the mouth. Smoking is mainly based on tobacco that yellows your teeth and increases the risk of gum disease and mouth cancer.

Sleep apnea may cause bad breath– After a night of sleeping, morning breath may be normal before brushing the teeth. During sleep, saliva production reduces gives odor-producing bacteria and provides an opportunity to multiply and grow. However, the slow production of saliva throughout sleep may be occasionally caused by leaving the mouth open for a long time. Individuals with sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea can cause difficulty in breathing through the nose and are more probably to breathe through their mouths which causes bad breath. 

Breath Tests May Diagnose Lung Cancer – There are several lung infections including tuberculosis, pneumonia, pulmonary abscess, bronchitis, and emphysema may also cause bad breath. Generally, lung cancer causes a distinct bad breath and now the bad breath is being used in early detection. Individuals with asthma are more probably suffer from dry mouth because asthma restricts airflow thus, they breathe through their mouth which may cause bad breath. 

Bad breath due to sinus – Bad breath may also be caused by microbial infections, growth, build the sinuses. Sinus is the inflammation of the nasal sinuses which can be a short-term acute inflammation that is also caused by an infection. Nasal polyps are jelly-like and soft which can also block the airway and lead to sinus infection. This type of infection may cause bad breath due to run-over of post-nasal drip. Thus, post-nasal drip, sinusitis, and nasal polyps are the main causes of bad breath because they promote the build-up of foreign objects, microbes, ad many more which may cause bad breath.

Bad breath due to Tonsil Stones – Bad breath can also be caused by tonsil stones or tonsillitis. Bad breath is also associated with tonsilitis which may occur in recurrent and acute chronic forms of tonsilitis. Sometimes, food debris, mucus, bacteria, and dead cells can get trapped in the crevices in the tonsils may build up, and finally, calcify to form tonsils stones. Tonsil infection may also cause bad breath and is the main indicator of a tonsil stone. 

Conclusion

If you have a bad breath issue then it may be embarrassing in society, office, college, any occasion, and many more. But bad breath may also link with severe diseases that are discussed in this blog. So, if you had a bad breath issue for a long time then immediately visit a doctor for a normal checkup. 

The Top 10 Windows 8 Questions Everyone Asks

You’ve finally made the leap to Windows 8 (or, more probably, Windows 8.1), and a pretty big leap it was. Everything looks different. Everything acts differently. Even a simple task like shutting down your PC suddenly becomes a challenge.

We know. We’ve lived through Windows 8, too, and we’ve received many, many questions about it. Here are the 10 most common ones we hear about Microsoft’s latest operating system. With these answers under your belt, you can consider yourself well past the beginner stage.

To start the confusion, there are three versions of Windows 8:

· The original Windows 8

· The much-improved Windows 8.1

· The even-better Windows 8.1 Update, though saddled with an idiotic name

The Start button is one subtle, but key, difference between Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

How do you tell which you have? Go to the Desktop environment and look in the lower-left corner. If there’s no Start button, you’ve got the original Windows 8.

If you have the Start button, but not the magnifying glass, you have Windows 8.1, without the Update. In that case, you need update KB2919355. Microsoft is patching Windows 8 and the Windows 8.1 Update, but not Windows 8.1 without the Update. Without patches, Windows becomes less secure.

The magnifying-glass icon means you have Windows 8.1 Update.

Besides, the Windows 8.1 Update is by far the easiest and friendliest version of Windows 8 so far. Finally, the two user interfaces—Modern and Desktop—appear to be cooperating.

The good news: If you have a new computer, it’s almost certainly running Windows 8.1 with the Update.

2. What about the Start menu?

Classic Shell brings back the Start menu that Windows 8 took away.

From the very birth of Windows 8, this was the biggest complaint: “Where’s the Start menu?” 

Even with the improvements of 8.1 and the 8.1 Update, which brought back the Start button, there’s still no Start menu.

There you go, a Windows Start menu, courtesy of Classic Shell.

Luckily, where Microsoft fails, others provide. You can find plenty of third-party Start menus for Windows 8, and many of them are free.

3. What’s that screen with all the little tiles?

You may have stumbled upon it accidentally. You’re at the Start screen, you do something (you’re not sure what), and suddenly you have a screen filled with tiny tiles instead of big tiles.

That’s the Apps screen, which Microsoft added with Windows 8.1. It lists every program and app installed on your PC. Think of it as the equivalent of the Windows 7 Start Menu’s All Programs submenu. Or Android’s All Apps screen.

This is the Windows 8 Apps screen. It looks busy, but it’s actually easy to sort.

Unlike Windows 7’s All Programs, you can sort this list. The default is to sort by name, but you can also sort by date installed, most used (which makes it a bit like the Windows 7 Start menu’s left pane), and category. Note, however, that it lacks All Program’s ability to use submenus.

One other important point: If you sort by name or category, it lists apps first, and traditional desktop programs after them.

4. How do I do some of the simple tasks that should be obvious to anyone?

The Windows 8 learning curve isn’t just about the big stuff. Here are three minor issues that vex new users.

Your index finger lacks left and right buttons, and the touchscreen doesn’t know one finger from another.

To bring up a context menu on a touchscreen, touch the object and keep your finger there until a square appears around the object. Then release, and the menu will pop up.

Find anything in Windows using the Search charm.

Search

Windows 8’s equivalent to Windows 7’s “Search programs and files” field is the Search charm. There are a lot of ways to bring it up, so I’ll just give you the most convenient:

· On the desktop, press Winkey-S.

· On the home screen, just start typing.

Relearn more seemingly simple tasks in Windows 8 on the next page…

Sleep or shut down Windows

Here’s the menu for shutting down Windows.

This is the one that puzzled a lot of people when Windows 8 first came out.

5. What’s happened to Windows Explorer?

Windows’ built-in file manager got a facelift and a new name, and both are an improvement (I thought so even when I hated Windows 8).

File Explorer has tabbed ribbons you can hide.

Windows Explorer is now called File Explorer. While I usually don’t approve of renaming common features in a popular OS, I’ll make an exception here: It actually describes what the program does.

In the new File Explorer, the Pictures Library has new tabs and ribbons available.

Other ribbons pop up when appropriate. For instance, go to the Pictures library, and you’ll see additional Library and Picture tabs. You’ll also see the Pictures tab when you’ve selected a picture.

You can monitor two files as they copy.

One more nice touch: Copy a big file to another drive. The familiar dialog box comes up to show you the progress. While it’s still going, start copying another big file. The existing dialog box will expand and show you progress on both files.

6. Where are my libraries?

Now that you’ve found File Explorer, you might notice something is missing. The left pane lists Favorites, This PC (the location formerly known as My Computer), and Network. But it apparently doesn’t have Libraries.

Libraries—configurable pointers to Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos—help you organize your data files. They’re one of the best features added with Windows 7.

The libraries aren’t gone! You can dig them out.

For instance, the Documents library by default contains both the My Documents and Shared Documents folder, and you can add or remove other folders as you wish. The folders aren’t actually in the library, but they appear to be.

The good news: Microsoft didn’t remove libraries; it just hid them. But why?

Probably because the company doesn’t really want you to store data locally. Microsoft would rather you stored everything in its cloud-based service, OneDrive, and pay for that privilege.

7. What’s with the Task Manager?

Big improvements. That’s what’s with the Task Manager. Like File Explorer, it’s one of the few things about Windows 8 that Microsoft got right from the start.

The Task Manager shows computer processes in an easier-to-read format.

Now you’ve got most of the information you had in earlier versions, except that it’s well-spaced, clearer, and easier to read. If you explore the various tabs, you’ll find all the information from the Windows 7 version, plus more. For instance, the User column is now on the Details one.

One very useful new tab is Startup, which replaces the Startup tab that used to reside in MSCONFIG. This is the place to go to trim down the list of programs that load automatically when you boot. 

The Task Manager is less cluttered and offers more information than before.

This version is far easier to read than the old MSCONFIG tab. And it gives more information, including Startup impact—how much each autoloading program slows down the boot.

How do I find my Product ID number? Find out on the next page…

8. Where do I find my product ID number?

Every legally-sold copy of Windows comes with a unique, 25-character code that acts as a proof of purchase. If you buy a copy of Windows, the code is printed inside the packaging. If you bought a PC with Windows pre-installed, it’s printed on a label on the computer.

Unless your computer came with Windows 8. With the new OS, Microsoft eliminated the requirement that pre-installed PCs come with their Product ID (PID) numbers visible on the case.

ProduKey makes it easier to find your Product ID for Windows.

In theory, you don’t need them anymore. A unique, Microsoft-approved PID is built into your computer’s hardware. If you have to reinstall Windows, the installation routine should not ask for your PID; it already has it.

Nevertheless, you may feel uncomfortable not having access to your PID. I know I do. And there is a solution.

NirSoft’s ProduKey will display your PID (and other ID numbers, as well). The program is free, and portable—meaning you don’t have to install it. Once the information is displayed, you can copy it to the clipboard and paste it into another program. Then you can save the file, back it up, or print it and tape the printout to the outside of your computer.

9. How do I switch users?

If you share a computer with someone else, or use separate Administrator and Regular User accounts, you know the routine of switching users.

At least you knew that routine before you took on the challenge of Windows 8. Now it’s entirely different.

Switching users works differently in Windows 8.

Once again, Microsoft has changed the terminology. Remember your old options, either to log off or switch users? (Switching users was faster, but leaves the previous account running in the background. Logging off shuts down the previous account entirely.) Now you don’t log off, you sign out. And while you can still switch users, there’s no longer any name for that action.

To switch users, simply tap the appropriate user name.

10. Do I have to log on with a Microsoft account?

Just as Microsoft really, truly wants you to use OneDrive, they also want you to use a Microsoft account. After all, without one, you can’t use OneDrive.

In fact, when you set up Windows 8 for first time, the preparation wizard won’t let you create a local account. You have to create one connected to Microsoft.

You don’t need a Microsoft account to log on; a local-account option is also available.

But you don’t have to keep it that way. Windows 8 has something called a local account, which doesn’t have to be tied with anything on Microsoft’s cloud. You can convert your current account to a local one.

Here’s how:

1. In the Search charm, type account and select Manage your account.

3. Follow the wizard. You’ll have to enter your current password, then fill in a few fields, including Name and Password. You’ll have to use a new login name, but you can keep the old password.

When you’re done, you’ll see your old settings, programs, and files. But you’ll have a different logon and won’t be connected to Microsoft.

Are Brand Mentions Important To Google’s Algorithm?

Google’s John Mueller was asked if “unlinked brand mentions” were important in Google’s algorithm. It was apparent from John’s response that “brand mentions” is probably not a real thing in Google’s algorithm, but he also said that there may be value to site visitors who encounter them.

Brand Mentions

There is a longstanding idea in the SEO community that Google uses mentions of a website as a form of link.

The unlinked URL idea subsequently evolved into the idea that if a website mentions another site’s brand name,  that Google will also count that as a link. This is the “brand mentions” idea.

But there was never any evidence of that until around 2012 when Google published a patent called Ranking Search Results.

The patent was several pages long and buried deep in the middle of it was the mention of an “implied link” being used as a type of link, which was different from an “express link” which is described as a traditional hyperlink.

The phrase “implied links” only occurs a couple times in this one paragraph.

Google’s John Mueller Discussing Unlinked Brand Mentions

Two Main Ranking Factors Discussed in the Patent

To understand what the authors meant by an implied link you have to scroll up the page back to a section labeled “Background” where the authors explain what the patent is actually about.

These are the two most important factors discussed in the patent:

The authors explain they are using independent links to a website as  part of the ranking process. They call the site being linked to a”target resource.”

The authors also say that they are ranking search results by using search queries that contain a reference to a website, what they again call a “target resource.”

The patent explains without ambiguity that this second type of link is a search query that uses a brand name, what the SEO industry calls Branded Search Queries.

Where the patent makes a reference to a “group of resources,” it is referring to a group of web pages.

A resource is a web page or a website.

A group of resources is a group of web pages or websites.

One more time:

When the patent mentions a “resource” it’s talking about web pages or websites.

The patent states:

“A query can be classified as referring to a particular resource if the query includes a term that is recognized by the system as referring to the particular resource.

For example, a term that refers to a resource may be all of or a portion of a resource identifier, e.g., the URL, for the resource.

The above explanation defines what the authors call “reference queries.”

A reference query is what the SEO community refers to as branded search queries.

A branded search query is a search someone performs on Google using a keyword plus the brand name, the domain of a website or even a URL, which is exactly what the patent defines as reference queries.

What the algorithm described in the patent does with those “reference queries” (branded search queries) is to use them like links.

The algorithm generates what’s called a “modification factor” which modifies (re-ranks) the search results according to this additional data.

The additional data is:

1. A re-count of inbound links using only “independent” links (links not associated with the site being ranked.)

2. Reference queries (branded search queries) are used as a type of link.

Here is what the patent states:

“The system generates a modification factor for the group of resources from the count of independent links and the count of reference queries…”

What the patent is doing is it is filtering out some hyperlinks in order to only use independent links and also to use branded search queries as another type of link,  what can be defined as an implied link.

How the Idea of Brand Mentions Was Born

Some in the SEO community took one paragraph out of context in order to build their “brand mentions” idea.

The paragraph begins by talking about using independent links for ranking search results, just as is described in the background section of the patent.

“The system determines a count of independent links for the group (step 302).

A link for a group of resources is an incoming link to a resource in the group, i.e., a link having a resource in the group as its target.”

The above statement matches exactly what the entire patent talks about, independent links.

The next section is the part about “implied links” that has confused the search industry for the past ten years.

Two things to note in order to more easily understand what is written:

 A “source resource” is the source of a link, the page that is linking out.

A “target resource” is what is being linked to (and ranked).

This is what the patent says:

“Links for the group can include express links, implied links, or both.

An express link, e.g., a hyperlink, is a link that is included in a source resource that a user can follow to navigate to a target resource.

An implied link is a reference to a target resource, e.g., a citation to the target resource, which is included in a source resource but is not an express link to the target resource.

Thus, a resource in the group can be the target of an implied link without a user being able to navigate to the resource by following the implied link.”

The key to what an “implied link” is contained in the very first mention of the phrase, implied link.

Here it is again, with my emphasis:

“An implied link is a reference to a target resource…”

Clearly, the use of the words “reference” is the second part of what the patent talks about, reference queries.

The patent talks about reference queries (aka branded search queries) from the beginning to the end.

In retrospect it was a mistake for some in the SEO industry to build an entire theory about brand mentions from a single paragraph that was removed from the context of the entire patent.

It’s clear that “implied links” are not about brand mentions.

But that’s background information on how “brand mentions” was popularized.

John Mueller on Unlinked Brand Mentions and Google’s Algorithm

Question About Unlinked Brand Mentions

The question about brand mentions had a lot of background information to unpack. So thanks for sticking around for that because knowing it is helpful to understanding the question and John Mueller’s answer.

Here is the question that was asked:

“In some articles I see people are speaking about unlinked brand mention.

I want to know your opinion in this case.

Do you think it’s also important for algorithm, unlinked brand mention?”

Are Brand Mentions Important to Google’s Algorithm?

The concept of “brand mentions” appeared to be  unclear to John Mueller.

So Mueller, asked a follow up question:

“How do you mean, “brand mentions?”

The person asking the question elaborated on what he meant:

“It’s like another website and article speaking about my website brand, but it doesn’t link to me.”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know.

I think that’s kind of tricky because we don’t really know what the context is there.

I mean, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, just for users.

Because if they can find your website through that mention, then that’s always a good thing.

But I wouldn’t assume that there’s like some… I don’t know… SEO factor that is trying to figure out where someone is mentioning your website name.”

Brand Mentions Are Not an SEO Factor

John Mueller confirmed that brand mentions are not a search engine optimization factor.

Given that the foundation of the “brand mentions” idea is built on one paragraph of a patent that’s been taken out of context, I would hope the SEO community will set aside the idea that “brand mentions” are an SEO factor.

Mueller did say that brand mentions can be useful for helping users become aware of a website. And I agree that’s a good way to think about brand mentions as a way to get the word out about a website.

But brand mentions are not an SEO factor.

Just Because it’s in a Patent Doesn’t Mean it’s in Use

One last note about the patent that mentions “reference queries.”

It’s important to understand that something isn’t necessarily in use by Google just because it appears in a patent or a research paper.

Google could be using it or maybe not. Another consideration is that this is an older patent and Google’s search algorithm is constantly changing.

Citations Read the Patent from 2012

Ranking Search Results

Watch Google’s John Mueller Answer About Brand Mentions

Watch at 12:01 minute mark:

Banker’s Algorithm In Operating System

What is Banker’s Algorithm?

Banker’s Algorithm is used majorly in the banking system to avoid deadlock. It helps you to identify whether a loan will be given or not.

This algorithm is used to test for safely simulating the allocation for determining the maximum amount available for all resources. It also checks for all the possible activities before determining whether allocation should be continued or not.

For example, there are X number of account holders of a specific bank, and the total amount of money of their accounts is G.

When the bank processes a car loan, the software system subtracts the amount of loan granted for purchasing a car from the total money ( G+ Fixed deposit + Monthly Income Scheme + Gold, etc.) that the bank has.

It also checks that the difference is more than or not G. It only processes the car loan when the bank has sufficient money even if all account holders withdraw the money G simultaneously.

In this operating system tutorial, you will learn:

Banker’s Algorithm Notations

Here is an important notation used in Banker’s algorithm:

X: Indicates the total number of processes of the system.

Y: Indicates the total number of resources present in the system.

Available

[I: Y] indicate which resource is available.

Max

[l:X,l: Y]: Expression of the maximum number of resources of type j or process i

Allocation

[l:X,l:Y]. Indicate where process you have received a resource of type j

Need

Express how many more resources can be allocated in the future

Example of Banker’s algorithm

Assume that we have the following resources:

5 Pen drives

2 Printers

4 Scanners

3 Hard disks

Here, we have created a vector representing total resources: Available = (5, 2, 4, 3).

Assume there are four processes. The available resources are already allocated as per the matrix table below.

Process Name Pen Drives Printer Scanner Hard disk

P 2 0 1 1

Q 0 1 0 0

R 1 0 1 1

S 1 1 0 1

Total 4 2 2 3

Here, the allocated resources is the total of these columns:

Allocated = (4, 2, 2, 3).

We also create a Matrix to display the number of each resource required for all the processes. This matrix is called Need=(3,0,2,2)

Process Name Pen Drives Printer Scanner Hard disk

P 1 1 0 0

Q 0 1 1 2

R 2 1 0 0

S 0 0 1 0

The available vector will be :

Available=Available- Allocated

= (5, 2, 4, 3) -(4, 2, 2, 3)

=(1, 0, 2, 0)

Resource Request Algorithm

Resource request algorithm enables you to represent the system behavior when a specific process makes a resource request.

Let understand this by the following steps:

Step 1) When a total requested instance of all resources is lesser than the process, move to step 2.

Step 2) When a requested instance of each and every resource type is lesser compared to the available resources of each type, it will be processed to the next step. Otherwise, the process requires to wait because of the unavailability of sufficient resources.

Step 3) Resource is allocated as shown in the below given Pseudocode.

Available = Available – Request (y) Allocation(x) = Allocation(x) + Request(x) Need(x) = Need(x) - Request(x)

This final step is performed because the system needs to assume that resources have been allocated. So that there should be less resources available after allocation.

Characteristics of Banker’s Algorithm

Here are important characteristics of banker’s algorithm:

Keep many resources that satisfy the requirement of at least one client

Whenever a process gets all its resources, it needs to return them in a restricted period.

When a process requests a resource, it needs to wait

The system has a limited number of resources

Advance feature for max resource allocation

Here, are cons/drawbacks of using banker’s algorithm

Does not allow the process to change its Maximum need while processing

It allows all requests to be granted in restricted time, but one year is a fixed period for that.

Summary:

Banker’s algorithm is used majorly in the banking system to avoid deadlock. It helps you to identify whether a loan will be given or not.

Notations used in banker’s algorithms are 1) Available 2) Max 3) Allocation 4) Need

Resource request algorithm enables you to represent the system behavior when a specific process makes a resource request.

Banker’s algorithm keeps many resources that satisfy the requirement of at least one client

The biggest drawback of banker’s algorithm this that it does not allow the process to change its Maximum need while processing.

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