How does Google Search Engine works?

Published by Somesh Nanda on

In this lesson, I will be going to talk about how Google search engine works and why it is important.

Believe me, once you will understand the search engine, you will be able to leverage them to your advantage.

Types of Search Engines.

One of the earliest search engines that came into existence was known as Archie.

It allowed people to search the file names (Basically the names of webpages) but it couldn’t tell what’s on there on a particular webpage.

After a few decades, search engines like Google, Yahoo, AOL,, Baidu, and Yandex have all come a long way.

All of these search engines basically work in the same way. Whenever a person wants to find something, he types in a keyword, and then the search engines pull out the most relevant results to show the searcher, and then the things are displayed.

Google Search Engine

Now when we are talking about Search Engines, I will majorly focus on Google, one of the largest and most popular search engines in the world.

How does Google know what to show and what not show

Google is a giant library that stores billions of websites and organizing this website in the right order is a difficult task. Google uses many algorithms.

Before explaining the factors and algorithms. Let me explain to you some of the principles on which Google search engine works.

Three principles of every search engine.

Crawling– The first job of any search engine is to crawl the websites.

Google has Google bots or spiders (programs) who search for new content on a website with respect to its relevance.

Indexing– If in case the website is informative and relevant, Google indexes the website to its database and stores the data.

Ranking– Once the website is indexed, Google looks at various factors that play a major role in ranking a website.

And believe me, it’s absolutely not an easy task to get your website rank number one.

Now as you have understood how Google search engine works. Let’s talk about the factors and algorithms that Google uses to rank your website.

There are various factors and every year, Google makes thousands of changes with its algorithm.

All the algorithms play a major role in preventing black hat SEO tactics and to give users the best experience.

Google uses more than 200 factors for ranking a website.

Let me introduce you to a few of the algorithms that Google uses to rank your website.

Google RankBrain.

RankBrain is a machine-learning algorithm that uses artificial intelligence that helps in predicting the most suitable results looking at the search queries.

Now, what is artificial intelligence and machine learning?

Machine learning plays a major role. It looks at the user behavior and predicts the result and delivers the content based on the user searcher intent.

Artificial intelligence reacts like humans which helps the computers to give a better understanding of the user experience.

Google confirmed RankBrain in the year 2015. Prior to the release of RankBrain, It was quite easy to optimize the websites for ranking number one, and people used to do it by keyword Stuffing.

But post-2015, After RankBrain was introduced, it was seen that there was a drastic change or a negative impact on the ranking of websites.

And after which Google used RankBrain, looking at various factors for ranking a website.

Different factors were used such as location, popularity, and many other factors before ranking any website.

Why RankBrain even matters, why is it important?

RankBrain is a third most important ranking signal and is involved in every query.

The technology behind rank brain plays a major role when showing the content in organic results.

It is one of the most important factors and if you want to get organic traffic and organic ranking, It should not be ignored.

Let’s discuss a few more important algorithms of Google which included Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird.

Google Panda

Google Panda was launched in the year 2011. As RankBrain, it doesn’t apply to the real-time search queries.

It basically deals with the content relevancy and how informative the content is.

Google Panda looks at various factors that you should keep in mind.

Poor User Experience– I will explain with an example here. Let’s say you search for Sports News on Google. Now what you expect, information about sports news, right? But if in case Google shows you some news websites which are not related to Sports then there is no point to read that article.

So basically your content should be relevant and should focus on a particular keyword (Sports News).

Duplicate Content- Originality of content matters a lot. You shouldn’t steal anyone’s content or its idea.

Keyword StuffingRepetition of the targeted keywords should be avoided. Below is an example of keyword stuffing.

Google Penguin

One year later in 2012, Google launched Google Penguin. It mainly focuses on Link schemes and keyword stuffing.

Link Schemes– Purchasing backlinks from unrelated websites, using spam links, or appearing on websites that have no relationships with your content, excessive exchange of links through partner websites, etc.

You should not get involved in any of the above practices. In order to rank well, you have to create high quality and unique content which will lead you to the next level naturally.

Google Hummingbird

Now let us talk about the most important algorithm of Google, Hummingbird.

What is Hummingbird? How does it work?

Google announced the Hummingbird algorithm in the year 2013. After releasing Hummingbird, its main focus was to understand the searcher’s intent.

Every single Google search is controlled by the Hummingbird algorithm.

Hummingbird uses semantic search analysis. It ranks the web pages which have deep and relevant content.

By crawling the web page, it figures the topic and all the important pages. It also assigns a grade to the website on the basis of its performance.

Here you should focus on keywords, better the number of keywords, better will be the results which means that your website will be able to rank for all the search queries related to your niche.

The number should appear at a minimum of 2.5%. Less than that can affect the performance/score of your website.

You have to become an authority here. Thin content (absence of relevant content) will lead to a decrease in the ranking of your website.

There are no shortcuts. Let me help you with a few things which will improve the ranking of your website.

  • Your purpose or intent should be clear in your content.
  • Avoid short content and always focus on writing long content.
  • Be specific about your niche and do write relevant content to the area of your expertise.

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