How Google’s Search Engine Really Works (A Peek Under The Hood)
Today half of the world’s population access the internet to look for answers to their queries. Today, Google solely conducts more than two trillion searches every day and has completely transformed the way people browse the internet. With many alterations to its algorithms on a daily basis, Google is absolutely the most significant rule setter of the game.
When the founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin first came up with the idea of Google, they had everything planned for the future. In the paper they released back in 1998 at Stanford, they stated how PageRank citation would help arrange the chaos on the internet caused by the increasing web pages. From its very birth, Google has always placed the user’s intent and experience on a high pedestal, and to date, it remains the essence of Google’s purpose.
What Makes Google The Revolutionist?
Every known name in the search engine league, like Yahoo (founded 1997), Baidu (founded 2000), and Bing (founded 2009), have had almost the same timelines with similar competitions. Google (founded in 1995, formerly known as Backrub), however, quickly shifted from the slow lane to the fast lane in just two decades.
As mentioned earlier, Google serves its users with the best experience. Google understands that it needs to help people as much as possible, so they return to the search engine whenever they need help.
How Do Search Engines Work?
The primary objective of any search engine is, as the name suggests – searching. You can take the example of a library, where books are arranged according to their subjects in different rows and columns, representing indexes or databases. When you need any book, you simply walk up to the aisle with relevant books and pick out what you think is most helpful for you. Google takes care of all these steps, and the only action you have to take is to search for your problem in the search engine query.
Every search engine principally works through three stages:
The search engines have crawlers or spiders (Google Bots for Google) that help them analyze the content over the internet. This process of discovering new content gives them an idea about the information your page will provide for their users. The data can be in any format, including texts, images, videos, and PDFs.
Every search engine also has an index where they store and arrange all the data acquired by them from your website and web pages according to the context where the search engine can use them. Indexing provides your data the visibility it requires to appear as search engine query results.
The search engines have different factors that define your rank on them, the main aspects being the content, structure, and keyword usage. Ranking simply means ordering the stored data in the most relevant to least relevant fashion.
What Does Google Do Differently?
Google Search is extremely precise in understanding what a website or webpage wants to communicate to its readers. However, if you still wish to choose how Google Bots read and analyze your content, you can select the different filters for the Google Search Console.
Moreover, the AI technology, RankBrain, employed by Google, now intuitively understands what people might be looking for, and that is a massive difference separating Google from its competitor search engines. Using the search history, user behavior, and user interaction on the web browser, Google can piece together all the information about you to provide you with the best answer matching your likes and dislikes.
If you are a movie enthusiast and it sounds too much like J.A.R.V.I.S. from Marvel’s Iron Man, you will most likely get the accurate picture. Additionally, you should also note that the privacy policies on Google keep all your data secured and use it only for your provision.
How Does Google Search Algorithm Work?
Google search algorithms have one function: dig deep into the abyss of content available on the internet and return with the most relevant answer to your search query. The significant difference separating Google from other search engines is that its algorithms are so powerful that they do all this within a fraction of a second.
Google algorithms act as a filter to distinguish, rank, and present your answers. For instance, you can open a website for online shopping that views all the products that the seller trades. But to get an accurate product, you would add filters and categorize what precisely you are looking to buy. This job of properly organizing and presenting the data available on the internet is done by the series of algorithms that Google’s ranking systems use.
The Google algorithms determine the following key factors to determine relevant search query results:
1. Meaning of the User’s Query
If the user searches for a solution, it means they definitely have a problem. Google focuses on the meaning of the user’s query, taking care of the different meanings a word can have to provide you with the most relevant result for your query.
2. Web Page Relevance
The algorithms then search for the relevance in the data stored with them and match it to the searched query. The compatibility is compared by matching the keywords in the content to that of the question and machine-learning analysis.
The quality of the content and reliability of the information provided by the website is a key factor in determining the ranking. Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of a website can be verified by the number of backlinks they earn on other websites with a good E-A-T.
The algorithms check if the user can access the site on multiple devices and quickly find the information they are looking for.
5. User Behavior
The user’s interaction with different websites, their search history, and geographical location – all help the algorithms figure out the most relevant data on the internet according to their needs.
What is the Role of the Google Search Algorithm?
Google adds minor updates to its algorithm almost every day, but the significant changes that can heavily impact your traffic generation are brought about almost twice a year. Although, as mentioned before, all these updates provided by Google are only to enhance the user experience, whether it is quickly searching for a result or finding the most relevant content on the internet.
Back in December 2020, Google’s core algorithm was updated and they added more E-A-T guidelines in the bunch to service users’ best interests. It was aimed at more creative, unique, and informative content for your reader.
You can check for these core updates every couple of months and accordingly update your website content.
Here are some places you can get your Google algorithm updates:
1. Google Alerts
It is a highly informative application introduced by Google to keep you updated with anything and everything related to you and your searches. Google Alerts sends you a notification every time someone searches a keyword matching your history or any changes to the search patterns.
2. Google SearchLiaison
It is the official Twitter account for the Google algorithm that provides you with every bit of update that Google introduces to its algorithms.
3. Google Analytics
It is a free service by Google that you should opt for as a web creator. Google Analytics serves as an SEO tool and also updates you with the changes in user policies.
4. Analytics Tools
Many independent analytics tools for SEO allow their users to regularly view every change to the algorithms introduced by Google. Tools like MozCast are highly reliable and keep themselves updated with every amendment.
How Does Google Find the Best Results for its Users?
Google only serves the best results to its users. Therefore, you should try to create content that would satisfy the needs of your users, pleasing Google along with it. Several factors help Google analyze your website and judge if it should be ranked high in SERPs or not.
Check out these factors to hit two birds with one stone:
1. Page Content
The content of the page is the primary route for your visitors to enter your website and look around. You should focus on creating unique content that engages the users to stay longer and browse other offerings.
2. Schema Markup
Your web page structure makes it easier for the Google crawlers to crawl through your content and analyze it. These crawlers also organize the content according to their purpose, so it could be used when a related search is conducted. Schema markup also helps the readers swiftly go to the details of the query they need an answer to instead of going through the entire content and wasting their precious time.
3. Page Loading Speed
The search results are provided by Google in a matter of seconds, making it essential that the result it provides should also quickly load when a user opens it. You should ensure that your content loads fast, even if there are many images included.
4. User-Friendly Design
The website or webpage should support the user to check if the webpage quickly provides answers and has enough information. User-friendly design also means that your website is compatible with any device, from a personal computer to a mobile phone. Moreover, the guideline released by Google ensured that mobile-friendly websites would be potential high rankers.
Google supports a website that ensures privacy and security for the user’s data. In a major guideline release, Google also added to their algorithm that they would support HTTPS more than HTTP because of the security that HTTPS provides.
6. User Behavior
Google algorithm pays minute attention to the way a user interacts with a website. Behaviors will involve total time spent on the website, bounce-back rates, click-throughs, and website usage data.
How to Improve Ranking in SERPs?
All website creators should focus on how they want their data to be viewed by the user and Google. SEO strategy is created to help website creators and owners optimize their content for higher ranks in the search engine result pages.
Factors that play principal roles in other search engines are easily understood. However, Google updates its algorithms so many times that it is quite hard to stay abreast with the latest changes. Fortunately, some basic concepts never change and can help you optimize your content for the best user experience.
1. Superior Quality Content
It will always be the first factor affecting your ranking in the SERPs. Since the content is the first thing that introduces your viewer to your website, the content is your web page’s backbone. Make sure that your content matches user intent and solves their problems.
Your website or webpage content should have a fixed structure that is easy to understand and read. You should use meta titles, tags, and other on-site SEO components to optimize your content for a better ranking.
However, Google has so far only used RankBrain as an incorporated factor for its web page ranking system; it is still the third most crucial factor to take care of if you want a higher ranking on SERPs.
4. Visual Aids
You can add informative images and videos to help your viewers better understand your content. Infographics are known to influence people more than plain texts, which can be perceived as boring.
You can audit your content and optimize your web pages for on-site and off-site SEO elements, check your ranking regularly, and your website usage.
1. What Is the Key Focus of the Frequent Google Algorithm Updates?
User experience has always been the main focus of any updates in the Google algorithms. Google supports websites that ensure their readers will have easy access to all the information and the content will be easy to read through.
2. How Does Google Search Engine Work?
The Google search engine crawls through your website to look for your content, indexes it by categorizing it, and then ranks it to match the search query with the most relevance.
3. Is There a Penalty for Over-Optimization?
Yes, if your content is stuffed with keywords or phrases, Google penalizes your website or web page. The best recommendation is to keep it simple, with about five keywords per page.
4. Main Factors to Improve Ranking in the SERPs?
The main factors that can improve your ranking in the SERPs are mobile-friendliness, expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness (E-A-T), and Schema Markup.
Although Google’s search engine is quite different and more advanced than other search engines in the race, you can simply focus on improving your reader’s experience on your website to ensure your seat in its SERPs. Like every other search engine, the Google search engine crawls, indexes, and ranks your web page. Optimizing the content to suit the user query and being up-to-date with the algorithm changes is the best way to get a higher ranking in Google SERPs.