Loren does a good rundown of a new Google patent Personalization of placed content ordering in search results in his Organic Results Ranked by User Profiling post. Some of the things in the patent may be a bit ahead of themselves, but the thesis is...
This GenericScore may not appropriately reflect the site's importance to a particular user if the user's interests or preferences are dramatically different from that of the random surfer. The relevance of a site to user can be accurately characterized by a set of profile ranks, based on the correlation between a sites content and the user's term-based profile, herein called the TermScore, the correlation between one or more categories associated with a site and user's category-based profile, herein called the CategoryScore, and the correlation between the URL and/or host of the site and user's link-based profile, herein called the LinkScore. Therefore, the site may be assigned a personalized rank that is a function of both the document's generic score and the user profile scores. This personalized score can be expressed as: PersonalizedScore=GenericScore*(TermScore+CategoryScore+LinkScore).
For those big into patents: Stephen Arnold has a $50 CD for sale containing over 120 Google patent related documents.
I think he could sell that as a subscription service, so long as people didn't know all the great stuff Gary Price compiles for free. (Link from News.com)
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