1. How does Google search work?
The Google search engine works online and its main task is to provide the most accurate answers to users (all people searching on Google). When using it, we enter queries, which are words related to the topic that interests us. Her working mechanisms provide us with a list with the most accurate results. In a very brief way, it is possible to describe how Google search works, but in reality it is a more complex, multi-stage process.
Basic information about Google search
Before the creation of the Google search engine in 1998, there were “pra-search engines” on the Internet, which include WWW Wanderer, Excite, Yahoo, Lycos or AltaVista. Users could find information thanks to them, but not always meeting their expectations. They displayed the results primarily based on the number of keywords – the more they were, the better. It revolutionized the Google search engine. Its creators – Larry Page and Siergiej Brin – decided that quality is more important than quantity. They thought that it should guarantee no “just-what” and reliable results. It was an inspiration to create PageRank – the first, unique solution that distinguished their product from other search engines.
It was a way of giving indexed websites a specific numerical value. It was based on the analysis of the number of links leading to the site and their quality. When a link from a website that has high scores is directed to a page, it is more important than when the link from a less popular website is directed to the site. It was the nucleus of an extremely advanced and very complicated system that Google currently has and continues to develop.
2. The search process on Google
2.1. User inquiry
We start the process by entering a query. These are keywords most associated with an interesting topic, as mentioned earlier. All we have to do is enter one word, for example “school”, “drill”, “restaurant” to run the entire search engine. We can also enter more words such as “primary school in New York”, “Bosch hammer drill”, and even enter the whole question: “Where is the Italian restaurant in New York”, “How does Google search work”. If we introduce more expressions, we can narrow down the search, and thus obtain better results.
And this is the whole Google search process? From the user’s side, this is how it looks. However, beyond our sight, as if in the background, a very refined and constantly developing mechanism works. Its heart is the index, because Google in search of the answer to our queries searches only those pages that are in the index
What is the Google index?
Index – it is a database, created on a regular basis. It is created thanks to the work of special programs – Internet robots (such as indexing robots) that travel the Internet in search of new and updated websites. They decide whether the page will be in the index, and if so – they will assign it to the index. The presence of the site in the index is necessary for its displaying on the users’ queries and for all SEO activities.
It is an activity invisible to the user and independent of what we enter at the moment in Google search. It takes place continuously for many parties, because crawling (crawling, crawling) means sending the crawlers to the website for scanning and allowing to crawl. It is worth bearing in mind that not always running a crawl is tantamount to indexing the page, and thus with its display in the search results.
Just like crawling, it’s a process that goes beyond our eyes and regardless of the query we enter at the moment. Indexing is based on the collection of information about content, graphics, links, key words that appear on the site and their saving in the search engine database. Data collection takes place via Internet robots that pass from one page to another due to the presence of links.
The technology base also determines how the Google search engine works. In crawling and indexing (also called scanning) pages a huge number of computers are needed. Server farms are helping in this, constituting a set of interconnected servers that work together to accomplish a specific task. The Mountain View giant does not give officially how many such devices it creates Google Data Centers, but they are located on 4 continents in 9 countries.
2.4. Displaying results
The last step of searching on Google is displaying the results. When you enter a query, the software starts browsing the pages in the index. They are looking for answers that will best match the entered query. It uses ranking systems that analyze indexed pages for relevance.
Search engine mechanisms allow for efficient browsing of websites. In this way, it is possible to better understand the question about people, places or things – which is well presented in the Knowledge Graph. Google implemented it in March 2012. His task is to show connections between people, places and things. It allows you to quickly find answers to such questions as, eg. When was Fryderyk Chopin born? How tall is the largest building in the world? The knowledge graph uses semantics in its operation.
These ranking systems are based on algorithms that evaluate websites and establish rankings. They allow you to display useful data based on word analysis, context understanding, and query matching. As a result, the user receives a list with results. These include organic and paid results, and – depending on the user’s query – also other SERP elements: location on Google Maps, video recording, graphics, knowledge panel, excerpt or so-called. carousel of results.
Did you know that the ranking of sites in organic results “fix” algorithms? They are important for how Google search works. These are advanced computer programs that evaluate websites based on various indicators. The Mountain View giant constantly develops and modifies them, and their updates have a significant impact on the SEO industry.
Paid Google ads
The diversity of Google’s search results is characteristic. In addition to traditional links in organic search results, there are many other SERP elements. It should also include paid advertising
[so-called sponsored links]
, but we will not focus on them at this point, because they constitute a separate segment of search engine marketing.
3. How to search on Google?
We usually start by entering a word or a few words into the search bar. This is the most commonly used method of its use. However, more and more often we want more accurate results or answers to a specific question, which is why our inquiries are more and more natural, such as “How to prepare sushi?”, “Where is the Italian restaurant nearby?” Etc. Google is striving for the best possible matching your product to our needs and expectations. One of the ways to improve the accuracy of the displayed results is semantic search.
It is based on reading our intentions, as well as understanding the meaning and context of our inquiry, introduced in a natural way – on the mechanism of semantics known from linguistics. Thanks to the question “What are the films about Chopin?” We will get a response in the form of links, among others to websites with film reviews, the repertoire of films in cinemas, etc. Thanks to this we no longer have to think about how to search on Google to find the expected answer – we simply write as if we were asking a question during an ordinary conversation.
The Koliber algorithm
The search engine owes greater intuitiveness to the aforementioned algorithms, in particular to Kolibrz. The main purpose of its creation was a better understanding of the synonyms and the context of the search. The algorithm “understands” the connections between individual constituent words of the query. Thanks to this, the Koliber allows the search engine to understand better what is on the websites and link their content to what the user is looking for.
Users’ questions become, among others, thanks to semantics, becoming more and more similar to the natural language. The effectiveness of Google’s search engine, how well it has been adapted to this activity. Her task became more complicated than it was a few years ago. The whole mechanism works on searching websites and at the same time constantly interprets them. In addition to our eyes, there is still semantic and grammatical analysis of the page content. The mechanism “learns” new connections, which allows providing even more precise results. For our convenience, these results are also given in a suitable way. These are elements of the SERP, such as: Carousel, Fragment, Knowledge Panel, Direct Response, Advertising, Local Parcel, Refinement Refinement, Extended Fragment, Search Similar to …
In this “science” search engine needs a database that is a collection of data collected from many sources and well organized. Currently, Google uses for this purpose, among others Wikipedia and other purchased databases.
– Personalized search
For better understanding of our individual queries, the search engine uses remembered activities. Our activities on the Internet (what pages we view, what articles we read, what events we’re interested in) build a network of connections – different for everyone. Based on such data, results are displayed that are more likely to arouse interest. Differences in the results displayed are usually minimal, but their occurrence is a fact that should be taken into account when using the search engine, as well as worth considering in the SEO industry.
– Local search
The place where we are currently located has an impact on the search results on the Internet. This is important mainly when we are looking for a physical place, such as a hairdresser, a restaurant, an airport, as well as local positioning. The search engine will usually display the objects closest to our location. This means that not only people from the two corners of the country, but even from the same city, only located in different parts of it, can get different results.
4. How to search on Google? – advanced techniques
We already know that how Google search works is based on the mechanism of scanning a huge number of indexed pages in order to find the most accurate answer to our query. To facilitate this search, Google allows us to use more and more natural language. The search is meant to resemble “exchanges” with the Internet search engine, which can certainly be helped by the Google Assistant.
Did you know that Google has created a virtual helper? Google Assistant works on mobile devices with Internet access. His task is to answer questions asked by the user. The whole process takes place by voice and reminds you of the conversation. As a result, Google search has become even more natural, but please keep in mind that the Assistant also supports other smartphone functions.
On the other hand, we have tools that allow us to specify our query, let’s call it – “from the technical side”:
– We can use “filters” for this purpose, which are located at the top of the page – they allow you to narrow down the search to a specific type of query.
– If you want only images to be displayed in the results of our search, click “Graphics”. If, however, we click on “Shopping”, the results will be filtered, and we will only receive those that will help in buying the wanted items.
– In the search of Internet resources, we can also use the so-called operators, ie symbols and words that allow you to modify your search and sometimes to completely change its type. All you need to do is enter them to narrow down the search area.
– When searching on Google, we can also use punctuation and punctuation marks, sometimes identified with search operators as “” + – # $ *. Their use may facilitate the search for specific information.
– The quoted mark (“”) is a commonly used character. Entering quotes in quotes means that the pages will be searched in order to find exactly such a phrase and the pages with the identical expression will be displayed.
5. Search on Google – in a nutshell
This is how Google’s search engine seems seemingly simple. We – as users – however, see “with our own eyes” only part of this process. The steps of crawling (scanning) and indexing remain invisible to us, and they are of great importance for the entire procedure. They are responsible for finding new and updated websites and entering them into the index. It is him who searches Internet robots after we enter the query. In addition, they allow you to display the most relevant results. However, the whole mechanism is constantly evolving to respond best to our needs. Because:
– The search language is becoming more and more natural,
– New programs (algorithms) are created to improve the accuracy of results,
– Search results are presented in various formats,
– Our activity on the Internet is used to obtain precise results,
– Location is included to ensure more accurate results.
Google’s search engine allows us to narrow the search range not only by using a natural query. Thanks to the appropriate tools, we have the opportunity to specify our expectations regarding the search engine. Operators, stop and punctuation characters, as well as “filters” allow to limit the type of results to eg graphics, films. e.t.c.
Google’s conduct is based on providing us with a product that best suits our current needs and expectations. That is why the search engine is constantly changing: from the user’s side it is becoming more and more natural and intuitive, while from the technical side it is growing more and more. Thanks to this approach, Google has conquered international markets, and currently its search engine is used by over 90% of users around the world.