Slawski takes a few moments to explain why he sees the study of patents as valuable, particularly in this particular sub-field of the computing industry, noting that patents "offer tantalizing hints of a jagged bigger picture, like picture puzzle pieces that don’t necessarily always fit together."
Patents aren't the only thing that Slawski writes about; his search engine observations are fascinating and informative. I particularly appreciate that he routinely illustrates his articles with detailed and compelling examples, as that makes them much easier to follow.
If you're interested in understanding how search engines work, Slawski's site is a great resource.
To tie up, here's the complete "Ten Most Important SEO Patents" series:
- Part 1 – The Original PageRank Patent Application
- Part 2 – The Original Historical Data Patent Filing and its Children
- Part 3 – Classifying Web Blocks with Linguistic Features
- Part 4 – PageRank Meets the Reasonable Surfer
- Part 5 – Phrase Based Indexing
- Part 6 – Named Entity Detection in Queries
- Part 7 – Sets, Semantic Closeness, Segmentation, and Webtables
- Part 8 – Assigning Geographic Relevance to Web Pages
- Part 9 – From Ten Blue Links to Blended and Universal Search
- Part 10 – Just the Beginning