Google Directory Patent granted

Probably more important for historical reasons than anything else...

For a number of years, Google provided a version of the Open Directory ( that used the organizational structure and entries in the DMOZ directory, but organized those entries by PageRank score. Google was granted a patent this week that describes a few different options for organizing the links shown in a directory, including a popularity score like PageRank, or a click through score, or a personalized score based upon a profile related to the person using the directory.

Google retired the Google directory last summer, showing a message that "We believe that Web Search" is the fastest way to find the information you need on the web'" and recommending that anyone interested in browsing a directory try the open directory.

It's a little amazing that it took so long for this patent to get granted. It's also a little ironic that one of the inventors listed on the patent, Craig Silverstein, who was Google's first hired employee, left Google earlier this month.,0,1839314.story

The patent is:

Scoring links in a document
Invented by Jeffrey A. Dean, Craig Silverstein, Lawrence E. Page
Assigned to Google
US Patent 8,127,220
Granted February 28, 2012
Filed: December 13, 2000


A system modifies documents to aid users in determining which of the entries in the documents to choose. The system identifies a document that includes one or more entries. The system determines a score for each of the entries and modifies the identified document, or entries in the identified document, based on the determined scores. The system then provides the modified document to a user.
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