How Does Google Search Work?

Magnifying glass over Google Search box
How are Google Search results determined?

In the 2nd quarter of 2021, Google had to appear and explain that their search engine is free from monopoly and gives the most valuable results against any user queries. For public awareness, the company has redesigned a website that has broadly explained how Google search works. 

This website isn’t only a source of information but an example of a high-quality resource that can rank higher when somebody searches for the term to understand the working of Google’s search. You can visit the website here while I will explain the search process in the upcoming sections of this blog post.

Google Developer’s Guide for Beginners to Understand 3 Step Search Process

Google gets information from multiple sources to generate search results. However, the core elements it looks for collection of information are web pages. 

It then follows three steps to provide us with what we’re looking for. 

1. Crawl

Google visits your website to know what pages exist on your site. It keeps calling to update its search directory in case you’ve published content on a new page. It also checks all the links on your web page to identify linked content. Web managers can also submit a sitemap -a list of their website pages- to let Google crawl these all. Now for each page it visits or crawls, Google then finds out what that page is about. It analyzes everything on the page (Text and Images etc.) to match the information we search for. The purpose of the crawling process is to help Google understand the user’s query and relevant results on the web. 

2. Index

After crawling the websites, Google saves the information about the pages of these websites in Google Index. It’s an extensive database that holds the web page’s data (what those pages are about) to keep a record and lookup purposes when somebody searches anything. 

The indexing process is different from crawling in the sense that crawling is reading while indexing is understanding and then saving the web pages. 

3. Serve and Rank

When you search for anything, Google tries to provide you with the best results depending on the type of query and your demographics limited to your location, language, and the device you’re using (mobile phone or personal computer). 

The best results are the most relevant, highest quality answers from high authority websites having the best user experience. Google checks more than 200 factors to decide which website is the best among all available in Google Index. Then, it ranks websites and their pages in search results based on these factors. 

8 Sections of Google Search Framework

This part of the blog post will explain an overview of the most robust search system Google uses to answer our queries. 

Over 7.5 million blog pages are being published every day, and each search query matches millions of these pages from the Google index. Google’s search then defines which page to show at the top or how the most relevant information appears on page one of Google. 

Let’s explore the sections to discover further insights. 

1. Google Search Information Organization

Google’s index is also the most extensive virtual library where information about all the web pages on the Internet are stored. 

The company uses software robots known as web crawlers to find information from all the web pages which are publicly accessible. These crawlers go through each page on every website and follow through the links on these pages. 

Like a regular book index, the information collected by crawlers gets saved in Google’s index. Google never stops crawling and indexing as at every moment, the content on the web pages is changing, and website owners are publishing new pages. To help the webmasters, Google provides a toolset known as Search Console and templates as Sitemap and Robot.txt. These tools are the source of communication between Google and website managers, and you can inform Google when and what to crawl and save in their index through these tools. 

Google also collects information from multiple kinds of data feeds and public directories and saves this into indexes. It then serves us with different result displays on the search page when we click the search button after typing what we’re searching for.

2. How Google Ranks Content

The ranking is simple sorting through billions of results available for any search —a user may perform. Google’s processes generally look for multiple factors to present the most relevant and valuable options. 

A sneak peek into the primary factors can help you better understand the ranking process. 

3. What does your query mean?

The first step is to understand the meaning of your queries. Google now identifies the intent of your query with the help of language models it has developed. 

It looks up any spelling errors and the synonym of all the words you type in. It has to give you the most satisfactory result against your query even if you’ve not used the exact term you intended to. 

3. How relevant is the web content?

After understanding the meaning of your query, Google then sorts the most relevant information accordingly. To measure the relevance of the content, it has developed relevancy signals based on the keywords used on the web page and anonymized user interaction data. 

Using a particular keyword in your content’s title, URL, and headings makes it more relevant to your query. Google indeed looks at how comprehensively your content explains the answer to any user’s query.  

4. Content Quality

Once Google has identified the most relevant results, it compares them to check which resource has the most helpful information against the search query. 

Here it broadly checks three parameters as to which website Expertise is Authoritative and Trustworthy in that topic. 

For example, the most prominent factor is how websites refer and link to the website’s content. Google further refines the results based on the quality of information after performing some checks. 

5. Usability

After checking the relevancy and quality, Google looks for the web pages that are better accessible, have better user experience, load quickly, and many other factors that clarify help the search system regarding the usability of the content. 

6. Context

Serving a user according to the correct intent is based on understanding the context of web pages and their information. For example, Google checks your location, search history, and other settings and shows you results based on your area. 

7. Improving Search Results with Consistent Testing

Google’s official data has run over 6 lac search experiments to implement more than 4500 changes solely in 2020. 

It keeps collecting data and conducting tests to find the most useful content for its users. Google’s engineers then assess the collected information through these tests to suggest and implement improvements. Google also uses manual search evaluators to deal with complex queries that need human-level understanding to improve their search experiences. 

8. SPAM Detection to Generate Reliable Search Results

Lastly, Google has developed a search system to identify any deceptive or manipulative web page. It negates these pages to show results and makes you view the most valuable and authentic information. 

A piece of insane information about the spam detention revealed that over 40 billion spammy web pages were being identified every day in 2020. 

Google uses automatic and manual spam detection processes to tackle such a massive chunk of useless web results. If a page mistakenly gets to the spam section of Google’s system, it intimates the website developer for correction. Once after solving the problem, web admins can submit their web page to reconsider showing their website in search results.

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