Bill Slawski at SEO By The Sea broke the news this morning that Google has been granted a patent that appears to show they’re working on a method to use information about what’s airing on TV in your area as a ranking signal.
The patent says Google may assess what’s on TV in your local area and look for related queries. For example, if someone searches for “Doctor Who” and a new episode of Doctor Who is about to air in your local area, that’s a signal that may influence the search results you receive.
Here’s exactly what the patent says:
A computer implemented method for using search queries related to television programs. A server receives a user’s search query from an electronic device.
The server then determines, in accordance with the search query and television program related information for television programs available at a location associated with the electronic device during a specific time window, a television program currently being displayed in proximity to the electronic device, wherein the television program related information includes program descriptions for a plurality of television programs being broadcast for the associated location.
The patent explains that sometimes people will search for things based on what they’re watching on TV, and Google may use the information they’ve gathered about what’s airing on TV in your area to personalize your search results.
Here’s a section from the patent document that speaks to that feature:
…when the user executes a query for “Porsche” during the same time window a TV program is airing that includes a segment about a particular Porsche model), the search engine returns enhanced search results based on the presumption that the user in question was watching that particular TV program–or that the user in question would be interested in watching that particular TV program.
This has the potential to dramatically change the TV viewing experience. Just think if you were about to ask Google something about the show you’re watching and it could return pretty accurate results. I think that would be pretty cool, don’t you?