Facebook Wins Search-Related Patent for Visual Tags

Following a social-focused search patent it received last fall, Facebook has received another this week, titled: “Visual tags for search results generated from social network information.”

The new patent (7,890,501) was a continuation of the previous one (7,788,260). This means than rather than adding to the previous patent, it covers a different embodiment of what was already claimed.

Both patents have the following abstract:

Search results, including sponsored links and algorithmic search results, are generated in response to a query, and are marked based on frequency of clicks on the search results by members of social network who are within a predetermined degree of separation from the member who submitted the query. The markers are visual tags and comprise either a text string or an image.

Numbers 951 and 952 in the diagram below are present in both patents, and illustrate the visual tags that the new one covers.

The title of the former one was: “Ranking search results based on the frequency of clicks on the search results by members of a social network who are within a predetermined degree of separation.”

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