How Google Search Actually Works

Posted by Rita Braby on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 @ 04:59 PM


It may seem really simple, but there are several different and very important things happening when you make a Google search. We wanted to break down the actual process behind its web searches to help you better understand how to build your exposure and SEO on the world’s largest search engine.

Google – An overview

Google Search now performs more than three billion daily searches for users. The searches scour through 60 trillion web pages that are in its index to bring you the ones it feels will be the most relevant and helpful to your search. But how does it decide which pages will be the most helpful?

Search Steps:

1. Crawling


Google uses software known as “web crawlers” to look for publically available web pages. The software begins by looking at pages and following links on those pages, they then bring data about those webpages back to their servers. The software pays special attention to new sites, changes to existing sites and dead links. The good thing is they don't accept payment to crawl a site more frequently for their web search results.

2. Indexing


Once a webpage is found, it is put into their extensive index. Think about it as a very large and ever-growing public library. Each web page found during the Crawl stage is indexed through words and their locations. The indexing systems note many different aspects of pages, such as when they were published, whether they contain pictures and videos, and much more.

3. Algorithms


Essentially their algorithms bring “order to the web” by implementing a formula to decide which web pages you will feel are more important. The index of trillions of webpages is searched for more than 200 unique signals or “clues” that help guess what you’re looking for. One of the signals is your PageRank.

According to Google, “PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.”

Here’s a helpful infographic that breaks down how the algorithm decides what pages are more important.


Image via Prezi

Looking at what goes into a simple search is a perfect launching pad to researching at how to boost your SEO. Focusing on the areas that the algorithm puts at higher importance is what will build your page ranking, and therefore gain higher exposure.



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