How Search Really Works

“I had NO idea that’s how Google works!”

If I had a dollar for every time someone has said this to me, after I explain to them how Stem helps clients improve their search engine rankings, I’d be rich. Or at least, have enough to take my colleagues out for a pint. For something that is so fully a part of our lives in the 21st century, it’s amazing how little people know about Google and how it, well, Googles.

Earlier this month, Google introduced a neat new interactive website called How Search Works. The site lets you “follow the entire life of a search query, from the web, to crawling and indexing, to algorithmic ranking and serving, to fighting webspam”.

From Google’s announcement, the site includes:

  • “An interactive, graphical explanation of Google Search
  • A view into major search algorithms and features
  • A 43-page document explaining how we evaluate our results
  • A live slideshow of spam as we remove it
  • Graphs illustrating the spam problem and how we fight it
  • A list of policies that explain when we’ll remove content”

What I found especially interesting were the live spam screenshots, examples of spammy websites recently removed from Google’s index.

If you’re impatient like me, and dislike the vertical scrolling concept where screen items are only revealed as you reach them, just scroll to the bottom of the screen right away, then scroll back up, and all the items will load. Be sure to try hovering over the various icons and images, for extra tidbits of information to complement the overall ideas. (And bonus points for not missing the obligatory cat Easter egg!)

If you’ve ever wondered exactly how Google works its magic, I highly recommend checking out this simple-to-understand introduction to the topic.

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