June 23, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – A month ago, a new patent for Google was officially approved. This new patent “basically states that all links on a page do not have to carry (or pass) the same weight,” writes Eric Enge at SearchEngineLand. “The concept is that the value a link should pass to a target page will be largely based on the probability that a user would click on it.”
How could this affect normal SEO practices? It could change the idea of “PageRank” entirely. Called the “reasonable surfer” model, the new system means that “not every link that appears upon a page is equal in value,” according to Bill Slawski at SEObytheSea.com. “Different features associated with links, and the pages they appear upon and point to, may determine how much value those links pass on to the pages to which they link.”
Per Enge, the new Google algorithms will mean that pages with more “prominent” links will be weighted better in Google’s search results, and pages with links to less relevant content may drop in search engine placement, perhaps dramatically.
It’s anticipated that links located “above the fold” will get more weight than those “below the fold”. Although this is kind of common sense — higher placed links are more likely to be clicked — it could severely affect search engine optimization, where the location of a link on a page isn’t considered as important as what it links to.
It’s also believed that this new system would seriously reduce the “weight” of ads. If that includes banner ads, then this new Google algorithms could have big consequences for affiliate marketers and those who promote casino affiliate programs, as well.
The new patent was granted a month ago, but it’s not clear when and if widespread implementation by Google will occur, or how long it will take.