The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted patent number 1,0872,088 (pdf) to Apple for “Domain based influence scoring”.
The patent describes a system of scoring website domain names to determine how important they are for search rankings. It sounds an awful lot like Google PageRank and the search giant’s many improvements for counting and scoring the influence of links pointing to and from websites.
For example, the patent suggests that a domain name can “donate” what is effectively link juice to other domain names. In one embodiment, an outbound link from a domain name actually reduces the importance of the site with the link rather than merely passing on the link juice in an additive fashion.
It also suggests reducing the domain score of domains that link to blacklisted sites.
One thing that might be a bit novel is considering individual authors/accounts on social network domains as independent entities.
But after reading the patent, the only thing I can think is…what the heck is new here?
Apple filed a provisional patent application in January 2017, and then the actual patent in November 2017. It was granted today.