Google was granted a patent by the United States Patent Office for a method of determining the relevance of Web pages in relation to search queries.
The patent, filed on Jan. 30, 2001, and was granted Tuesday.
Google turns up an initial set of documents related to the keyword and then ranks each page with a "relevance score." Next, it calculates a "local score value" that quantifies "an amount that the documents are referenced by other documents in the generated set of documents

. Finally, the local score values influence the relevance ranking of a page.

"a search engine modifies the relevance rankings for a set of documents based on the interconnectivity of the documents in the set. A document with a high interconnectivity with other documents in the initial set of relevant documents indicates that the document has 'support' in the set, and the document's new ranking will increase. In this manner, the search engine re-ranks the initial set of ranked documents to thereby refine the initial rankings."