I have never heard of any online marketing agency patenting SEO strategy, so this is rather new to me. Berkshire Hathaway’s Business Wire has been awarded a U.S. patent for the “technological process of optimizing and distributing press releases to maximize their ability to be found and tracked in the search engines.”

In short, they’ve patented an SEO strategy. This is a rather strange step but certainly something really interesting as this might lead to other SEO strategies being patented by SEO agencies? Business Wire says its strategy is the result of “years of research and development and considerable investment.”

“Our new SEO patent provides complimentary enhancements to Business Wire’s already powerful press release distribution and measurement services,” said Laura Sturaitis, Executive Vice President of Media Services and Product Strategy.

“Through Business Wire, customers have the power to effectively analyze and optimize their press release content for search, then simultaneously deliver their news to media and market participants via our patented NX delivery network, then measure audience engagement via our NewsTrak reports,” she added.

“With the awarding of this patent, in addition to Business Wire’s NX distribution technology patents, our company continues to develop unique, proprietary and more effective communications innovations that have been a hallmark at Business Wire for 50 years,” said Cathy Baron-Tamraz, Business Wire CEO. This is certainly a huge precedent and I am sure this is the start of “all out war” between search engine optimisation companies in United States and perhaps UK as well. Will Business Wire be keeping tabs on other agencies software development and processes for possible patent infringements. Is the process of PR distribution and analysis effectively Business Wire’s?

What is claimed is:

1. A computer-implemented method comprising: receiving a document containing content for distribution via one or more online media distribution channels; analyzing astructure of the document; determining optimal modifications to the structure of the document; analyzing keyword frequency and keyword positions in the content of the document, the keyword frequency and keyword positions being analyzed relative to historical data obtained from one or more of the online media distribution channels; determining optimum modifications to the keywords in the content of the document based on the structured document; displaying recommended structural changes to the document based on the structured document modification and recommended keyword modifications to the content in the document to a user in a graphical user interface; receiving input from the user adopting one or more of the structural changes or thekeyword modifications to the content; and initiating distribution of the document via one or more of the online media distribution channels.

2. A computer-implemented method comprising: receiving a document containing content for distribution via one or more online media distribution channels; analyzing a structure of the document; determining optimal modifications to the structure of the document; analyzing keyword frequency and keyword positions in the content of the document; determining optimum modifications to the keywords in the content of the document, the keyword frequency and keyword positions being determined based on one or more of the following: other documents that previously achieved high search engine rankings for keywords in the document, historical data weighted by recency, seasonality factors, and neural networks which adapt based on the actual performance of documents for which recommendations are made; displaying recommended structural changes to the document based on the structured document modification and recommended keyword modifications to the content of the document to a user in a graphical user interface; receiving input from the user adopting one or more of the structural changes or the keyword modifications to the content; initiating distribution of the document via one or more of the online media distribution channels; and analyzing and recording the performance of distributed documents for each optimized keyword in terms of search engine ranking, document opens or views, and related conversion events.

3. A method as in claim 2, wherein the related conversion events comprise: user contact information submission.

4. A method as in claim 2, wherein the related conversion events comprise: product sales.

 

What is my take on it?

  1. U.S patent system is flawed, ineffective and should be revised.
  2. SEO processes, strategies and technology is way too dynamic, patenting them is commercially not viable or worth it.
  3. This patent is based on very primitive on page analysis, there are many free tools out there than can do most of what is claimed here.
  4. Press Release SEO is not new, many leading distribution services offer search engine optimised press releases, in fact some come with automatic recommendations.
  5. This is Warren Buffet’s worst investment.