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The Possible Changes to Google Instant Previews

Predicting what changes Google might make to its myriad online ad and SEO options is a long-established guessing game for the industry. SEO by the Sea offers an intriguing one - and opens the door to a wider discussion of what the huge patent acquisitions by tech companies lately could mean for ad offerings and other products.

More Link Options?

The blog, which was among the first to report in that Google acquired IBM's patents in July, suggests that Google could start providing more link options in  Instant Previews as the result of a new patent acquisition from a company, iLOR, that filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google in 2007.

The patent is for multiple link options available when someone hovers over a link. "The technology involved is described in a patent entitled Method for Adding a User Selectable Function to a Hyperlink U.S. Patent No. 7,206,839," the blog says.

Interestingly, it goes on to say, "Google Instant previews recently changed to now popup to show previews and sometimes a link to the cached copy of pages when you hover over them."

Features in the patent include, SEO by the Sea says:

  • Opening the selected link in a new window
  • Opening the selected link in a new window with that window minimized
  • Creating a thumbnail presentation of the page which could be clicked upon later to visit
  • Downloading the page and associated files to view later offline

Patent Wars

This one patent illustrates the wealth of knowledge that all of the mobile providers are buying en mass as they bulk up their patent portfolios for defensive purposes. In short, mobile companies buy patents to keep from being sued for patent infringement, with tens of billions of dollars worth of sales happening this year alone.  For example, in June Apple, Microsoft, Research In Motion, Ericsson, Sony, and EMC, via a consortium the formed called Rockstar Bidco, won a bid for 6,000 Nortel patents, paying $4.5 billion.

The irony is that these buyers probably don't know exactly what is in these portfolios - and thus could have acquired hidden gems such as iLOR's patents.

"I doubt even now the consortium has a complete understanding of what it bought,” Casey Griffith, senior partner with Klemchuk Kubasta told the E-Commerce Times.  Although it was largely a defensive play, he said, there is always the possibility that the consortium might unearth a patent that could be used for more creative purposes.

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