Does search evolve? Google’s latest video explains how search works and evolves. The new video is actually the latest version of a 2012 video, and clearly explains that search changes. The video clearly depicts how Google manages to return search results. When you search something online, Google refers to the thousands, even millions of web pages with relevant information. The search engine returns the best results, committed to providing you with the most relevant information. For SEO service providers such as those providing search engine optimization in Long Island, understanding Google’s algorithms and their methodology becomes very important to ensure that client websites are optimized accordingly.
How Google Search Works
It’s simple, at least in the manner it’s explained in the video. When you need something or want to learn more about something, you enter it online in the Google search box, and Google’s algorithms seek to understand what exactly you intended to search with those search terms. It then gives the most appropriate and relevant results in the order of the most relevant to the least relevant in the search results page. These results are filtered from an “index” of the millions of web pages out there. Google then picks the pages that could possibly contain some information about the searched topic, and the kind of information that Google ascertains the user is looking for.
Search at Work
So, let’s check this principle with an example:
Google’s video makes it quite clear that there are “hundreds of factors” that contribute to deciding which result comes on top, but here we see that even before the conventional results we have the snippet of information right at the top. That gets more attention, and the key here is to get to that information box above the regular search results. In the actual search results, the source of that box information only comes second in the listings. But Google felt the information that source web page contained was more direct and easily understandable. It seemed to directly answer the question the searcher entered in the search box. That’s how you need to arrange the content in your web pages.
Factors Determining Order of Search Results
The narrator then explains some of the key factors that determine how search results come in the right order in the Google SERP (search engine ranking page). The occurrence of the searched term in the web pages indexed (yes, keywords are still important), and the location of those words in the pages such as in the title, and in the caption of the main image are important.
As you can see, this web page that came up first in the SERP actually contains the phrases we entered in the search box, such as “tubeless tyres” and “normal tyres” in the title with even the spelling being the British spelling of the word. But that was not a factor when it came to selecting the answer for the answer box. That answer came from the second link on the SERP.
This page does not include the term “normal tyre”. Instead it contains “tube tyre”. But still the information it contained directly answered the question we asked in the search box, which is why that page was selected for answer box though it only figured 2nd in the search results. Figuring in the answer box is possibly the most important, since it is the most prominent.
Links between Web Pages
There are other factors too, and the narrator touches on what Matt Cutts talked about in his video from 2012 (which we’ll discuss in the next blog), about how Google used to do it back in the day. Google would see how web pages linked to each other to have a better understanding of what the pages dealt with, and how relevant and trustworthy they appeared. Cutts used the word “spiders” to explain the technology that helps Google to see the connection between web pages.
The narrator’s explanation implies, perhaps not explicitly, that things have evolved now. But linking is still a major factor. Links to the pages from other pages and authoritative sources, and the freshness of the pages (how recently has the content been updated), are the other major factors.The geographic location of the searcher also plays a big part, and Google gives priority to results of destinations closer to the location of the user, particularly when the user searches for restaurants, hotels, shops or events.
Google’s machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) skills enable it to give the desired results to the user even if they may have typed the wrong spelling or the wrong grammatical construction of the search phrase. While indexing the world’s web pages, there are web pages containing spammy content. So, Google doesn’t just see the occurrence of the searched term or the related word in the content of web pages, it also analyzes whether the overall content contains any worthy information that is of any practical use. Such sites containing just keywords and not any logical or useable content are flagged.
Why Google Makes Changes to Search
But it’s during the latter part of the video that the narrator comes to the key point of contention – how Google makes changes to its searches over the years. That’s because the world keeps changing and there are always new things to search for. 1 in 7 searches is about something that has never been searched before, the video says. So as new things, concepts and perspectives come up, the search results, and the way they are displayed keep changing. There are thousands of updates each year, but what decides how these changes are made? These updates are what cause many a webmaster to lose sleep.
Well, the narrator mentions that there are search quality raters who look at various search result samples simultaneously. They then give feedback about the quality and relevance of the results. Consistency of these evaluations is ensured by Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines which the quality raters follow. But here’s the crucial point – the responses from raters are used to evaluate changes but they have no direct impact on how the search results get ranked.
When all is said and done, it’s worth remembering that it takes just 0.81 seconds for Google to index the millions of web pages and present the results on the search page.
It would be interesting to check out how Matt Cutts explained the working of search in 2012 video. We’ll check that out in our next blog. Experienced Long Island web design companies are well aware of these mechanisms at work.