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How Search Works

Desk with Notes About SEO

Ever wondered how search really works? What happens from the moment you press search on Google to the answers appearing?

Google has provided a fascinating insight into how it operates from algorithms to answers to help us understand how SEO work can help to ensure your answers and solutions are found.

So, back to basics, search starts with the web, which is made up of an incredible 60 trillion individual pages and it’s constantly growing. Google navigates by crawling, and following links from page to page – here provides the first key, make sure you link content!

Google sorts the pages by their content, and other factors and keeps track of it all in the index – which is worth over 100 million gigabytes, just to put it in perspective!

Google is fearlessly protective over its algorithms – and with good reason as it’s the most popular search engine – constantly writing new programmes and formulas to deliver the best results possible.

That’s why you’ll see Google constantly trying to work with you to better understand what you mean (and don’t mean!) with autocomplete, spelling, did you mean options and search methods.

Based on these clues, Google pulls relevant documents from its index, ranks the results using over 200 factors including freshness, site and page quality, and not forgetting from April 21, whether it’s a mobile friendly site.

This all takes an incredible eighth of a second to deliver the results. And on top of this, Google is still fighting spam on our behalf to keep results relevant.

So what does this mean we can do to help Google?
• Keep sites fresh with new content
• Consider keywords in content, but don’t stuff. And remember, keywords are not about what you can offer, but how the user, your target audience, will search for you
• Show Google you’re engaging with your audience on social media
• Design a good user experience
• Link properly and make sure they work
• Be relevant

Core to Google’s business is to focus on the user, your target audience, and all else will follow. Show Google you have the answers to the questions being asked by your target audience. And from this perspective, SEO must be part of a wider content strategy.

On and just for the record, according to Google, in the 2281 seconds I have been on the site to write this blog post – 88,000,980 searches were performed!

See the inside story from algorithms to answers with Google.

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