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How Does Google's Search Engine Work?

Ian is a search engine optimization expert. Enjoy this article!

Google on your smartphone

Google on your smartphone

How the Google Search Engine Works

Google, the most popular and powerful search engine in the world, uses algorithms to rank websites and provide the best results for a user's query. The algorithms are regularly updated and changed but, generally speaking, Google account for over 200 factors, including a website's content, the number of other websites linking to it, and the user's location and search history.

Google delivers search engine result pages (SERPs) in three stages, not all pages will make it to every step:

  • Crawler—Crawlers are images, texts, and videos downloaded when a page is found online.
  • Indexing—The downloaded texts, videos, and images are analyzed and stored in the google index, an extensive database.
  • Serving search results—When you search for a query on Google, Google will display all the relevant information.

Crawling

Crawling is the process by which Google's web crawler, Googlebot, discovers new and updated pages to be added to search engine's index. Googlebot uses an algorithm to decide which pages to crawl, how often to crawl them, and how many pages to fetch from each site.

Google's crawl process begins with a list of web page URLs generated from previous crawl processes and augmented with Sitemap data web admins provide. As Googlebot visits each of these websites, it detects links on pages and adds them to its list of pages to crawl. New sites, changes to existing sites, and dead links are noted and used to update the Google index.

The crawl process occurs in cycles, with each fresh cycle beginning with more newly discovered URLs than the previous cycle. Googlebot uses a priority queue to decide which URLs to crawl next, prioritizing newer URLs or URLs that have not been crawled for a while.

Indexing

Google indexing is adding websites and their associated content to Google's searchable index. The index allows Google to provide relevant results when users enter keywords into the search engine.

Google uses several different factors to determine which websites to index and how to rank them. These factors include things like the website's age, popularity, backlink profile, and content quality and authority.

The process of indexing a website begins when Google's spiders crawl the site and extract its content. The spider then sends this information back to Google, which is stored in the index.

When a user enters a query into Google, the search engine uses the index to find relevant websites and return them in the search results. The results are then ranked based on many factors, including the quality of the websites and how relevant they are to the user's query.

Serving Search Results

When a user enters a query into a search engine, it scours its corpus of documents and returns a list of the documents it believes are the most relevant to the user's question. Returning the most relevant documents is known as serving search results.

There are four main factors that go into determining which documents are the most relevant to a user's query:

  1. Query—The search engine will analyze the query to determine what the user is looking for. Based on the query, the search engine will generate a list of potential documents that might be relevant to the user.
  2. User's search history—The search engine will look at the user's past search queries and clicks to determine what kinds of documents the user is interested in. Based on the user's search history, the search engine will generate a list of potential documents that might be relevant to the user.
  3. User's location—The search engine will use the user's location to determine what kinds of documents are relevant to the user. Based on the user's location, the search engine will generate a list of potential documents that might be relevant to the user.
  4. User's device—The search engine will use the user's device to determine what documents are relevant to the user. Based on the user's device, the search engine will generate a list of potential documents that might be relevant to the user.

After the search engine has generated a list of potential documents, it will rank the documents by relevance. The most relevant documents will be served to the user first.

Google Algorithm

Google Algorithm

How the Google Algorithm Works

The Google algorithm is a computer program that ranks web pages based on their relevance to a search query. The algorithm uses a variety of factors to determine a page's relevance, including the number and quality of links to the page, the page's contents, and the page's history.

The algorithm is constantly being updated and improved, and it is impossible to optimize a page for all the factors the algorithm takes into account. However, a few general principles can be followed to improve a page's ranking:

  1. Create high-quality content relevant to the search query. The algorithm favors pages with well-written, accurate, and informative content. To determine the quality of a page's content, the algorithm looks at factors such as the length of the content, the number of spelling and grammatical errors, and the presence of keyword stuffing.
  2. Build links to the page from high-quality websites. The algorithm gives more weight to links from websites that are highly ranked by the algorithm. In addition, the algorithm looks at the anchor text of links to the page and favors links with anchor text relevant to the page's content.
  3. Avoiding engaging in practices designed to improve a page's ranking artificially. These practices, known as black hat SEO, include link buying, keyword stuffing, and link farms. Black hat SEO techniques can result in a page being penalized or even banned from Google's search results.
  4. Regularly update the page content. The algorithm favors pages that are updated frequently with fresh, relevant content. One way to keep a page's content fresh is to regularly add new pages to the website. This gives the algorithm new content to the index and shows that the website is active and relevant.

By following these principles, website owners can improve their chances of ranking high in Google's search results. However, it is important to remember that the algorithm is constantly changing and that there is no guaranteed way to achieve a top ranking.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

How Does Google SEO work?

Google SEO is the process of optimizing a website for Google's search engine. The goal of Google SEO is to rank higher in the search results for relevant keywords.

Google SEO begins with keyword research. Keywords are the terms people use when searching for information on the internet. Once the target keywords have been identified, they need to be incorporated into the website naturally and effectively. This includes adding keywords to the website's title, meta tags, and content.

In addition to on-page optimization, Google SEO also requires off-page optimization. This includes link building and social media engagement. Link building is getting other websites to link to your website. The more high-quality links you have, the higher your website will rank in the search results. Social media engagement is also important for Google SEO. The more people that share and interact with your content on social media, the higher your website will rank.

Google SEO is a complex and ever-changing process, but following these basic principles will help you get on the right track.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Ian Muiruri