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A lot of web pages and documents reuse the same text in sidebars and in footers at the bottoms of pages, like copyright notices and navigation sidebars.

Computer programmers will sometimes use the term “boilerplate” code to refer to standard stock code that they often insert into programs.

Bill discusses a patent suggesting Google may ignore such boilerplate text.
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from billslawski 2410 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thanks for the Sphinn, Peter.I hadn’t thought about disclaimers, copyright notices, and global navigation as "boilerplate" before regarding indexing, and this patent application was a little eye opening in that respect.  Many of the other 50 or so related patent applications haven’t been published yet, and I’m really looking forward to seeing those.  I suspect that they will hold some other assumptions and surprises that we many not typically consider when it comes to search.Cheers.

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from iamlost 2410 Days ago #
Votes: 0

billslawski: "...examples include headers, footers, and navigational elements that may occur on multiple articles."As usual your sharp eye and untwisting of patent-ese have my mind travelling down a number of paths. Just that one sentence above could mean very significant changes to link weightings within designated boilerplate areas.I will wait with you while you wait for those 50-some patents’ shoes to drop.Once again, Bill, thank you.

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from billslawski 2409 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thanks, iamlost.There definitely are some interesting implications in the treatment of boilerplate.  Link weights may be one, but others seem to be worth exploring.Keeping an eye out for those other 50.  I suspect that they will be keeping me busy. :)

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from Gab 2408 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Bill, do you ever get the feeling that they’re not really using all these patents, but just filing for them to promote an innovative image? (I’m actually publishing something on that tomorrow morning, coincidentally, which you might like.)

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from billslawski 2407 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thanks for the sphinns and comments. :)@ Gab,  the simplest answer is often the right one - that they are trying to protect intellectual property that they spent time and effort upon, even if their work was more exploratory than something to be implemented.  Many of these patent filings aren’t all that easy to find - if they were trying to promote an innovative image by filing patent applications, they might make it easier to locate them. :) Of course, what you suggest is a possibility, and I wouldn’t put it past some patent filers to publish a patent as a red herring to throw off competitors.  Who can tell for certain?

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from Gab 2407 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Bill, you mind if I call you wise, even though you’re not long in the tooth and white in the hair yet? LolSeriously, I think that’s a good point on the simple answer. But considering the costs of all this R&D, which in any case could be maintained by trade secret - it’s unlikely that many of these are being researched or even approached the same way by Yahoo/MSN - I’m a little dubious. As to finding them, having tried to replicate your exploits with the garbage search of the USPTO, perhaps you might publish something on how to actually find these items? It’s ridiculously difficult!

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from crazycat 2407 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yes, good plans from Google. Advantages and disadvantages? any?

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