Google has recently acquired two new patents.
When a business patents a technology or idea, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will use it. But, these patents can give us a glimpse into how Google may operate in the future and what it deems important.
“Watch Time” Ranking Factor
The first patent makes it possible for Google to use “watch time” as a search ranking factor. In essence, this would mean that the amount of time people spend watching content could help businesses achieve higher rankings.
As noted by Search Engine Journal, the patent doesn’t state whether “watch time” is referring to video content, although the term seems to infer that. However, it could also be applied to other types of content and simply measure how long people spend reading or watching content on a web page.
This would make sense, since in general content that is high quality, engaging, interesting and helpful, will keep visitors on a site longer, which could tell search engines the site is a good resource.
What to Do Now
This ranking factor isn’t currently being used, so there isn’t anything you need to change in your SEO plan. However, it would be wise to note that Google may be interested in measuring site value by how long people spend viewing content.
Knowing this, businesses should focus on creating high quality content that keeps their market’s interest. This kind of content will also benefit your business as you work to reach your market, promote products and solidly your online brand.
Email Marketing and SEO
The second new patent relates to email marketing and if put into use, would allow Google to use email signals, like emails being marked as spam, as it ranks websites. In other words, businesses that send out spammy emails may find their search rankings suffering.
Search Engine Watch has published an in-depth article that explains exactly what this patent means and how it would impact SEO efforts. The main takeaway is that spammy email marketing campaigns could be harmful to SEO campaigns.
What to Do Now
The idea that email spam is a bad thing isn’t new. However, what is relatively new is the idea that when subscribers mark your emails as spam, you could lose search rankings. Again, this patent isn’t in use now, so we don’t know for sure if this idea will ever become a reality.
However, avoiding spammy email marketing is something all businesses should do, regardless of what kind of SEO they are using. Email spam can harm your reputation, render your subscriber list virtually useless, make it harder to reach your target market and diminish your online brand. Avoid spam email to make your online marketing successful and to avoid possible SEO problems in the future.
It’s important to keep up with Google’s activities so you can make sure your SEO strategies are in line with the search engine’s standards. While these patents aren’t in use now, they give us a glimpse into what Google thinks is important when it comes to online content.