Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Google's method for highlighting search results

Google's US 6,839,702, issued January 4, 2005 :

The first claim:

1. A method performed by a client device for highlighting search terms in web documents distributed over a network, comprising:

generating a search query including a search term;

receiving a list of one or more links to web documents distributed over the network in response to the search query;

receiving selection of one of the links;

retrieving a web document corresponding to the selected link from the network;

intercepting the web document; and

highlighting one or more occurrences of the search term in the intercepted web document.

B. Description of Related Art

Conventional techniques for searching a hypertext medium, such as the World Wide Web ("web"), are replete with deficiencies. To perform a search on the web, a user typically uses a web browser, such as the Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers. The user enters one or more search terms into the browser. In response, the browser generates a query request to a search engine. The search engine typically returns a list of result links to the browser, which, in turn, displays the list to the user.

To view a document associated with one of the links, the user typically selects the link by, for example, clicking on it using a mouse. Sometimes, the user desires to determine where the search terms are located in the document to determine the document's relevance. Conventional information retrieval systems require that the user perform a word search on the document to locate each occurrence of the search terms.

As a result, there exists a need for mechanisms for highlighting search terms in a retrieved document to aid a user in determining the document's relevance.


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