You need to submit an assignment tomorrow. You need information. Your health is not okay, you need information as soon as possible. You need to select a career path and want to explore the various options available, you need information. You need to buy a new pair of earphones, you need information. Who do you go to? Definitely not Einstein. You go to the GREAT Google. A word of six alphabets, ruling the internet world and giving us infinite information at the tip of our fingers. Saving us at the last moment by providing significant information, Google is our savior. But, the curiosity of mankind often raises the question, how does this oh-so-great Google actually work? Well, that is what I’ll be answering here, so stick around.
The Magnificent Google
Before we start pondering on the fact how Google works, we need to go down to the roots. Why is it so great?
Google gives us, what is without a doubt the most effective and famous search engine, probably the only search engine that has also evolved to become a verb used in day to day lives, such as when people mention that they will Google to research more about something or someone. It is taken for granted by a lot of us, that Google Search just operates in its own way and the results are true and valid, without really taking a minute to contemplate how things are arranged and what exactly is going on behind the curtains. It’s time to shed light upon this known mystery to us.
The search engine of Google is a mighty powerful tool indeed. Without search engines like the one used by Google, it practically, would be impossible to get the actual information you need when you’re browsing the internet. Similar to all the search engines, Google also utilizes a special algorithm to accurately generate the results of the search you make. Even though Google shares all the general facts about the algorithm it uses, the specifics of it are a confidential company secret. This provides Google with the edge to remain competitive with the various other search engines on the internet and decreases the probability of someone finding out how to exploit and abuse the organized system.
So, what does Google do to get search results, you may ask? Well, Google makes use of various automated programs that are termed as ‘spiders’ or ‘crawlers’, similar to those of most other search engines. Also, just like the other search engines, Google possesses a vast index of keywords and where these keywords can be located on the internet. But, what sets Google apart from the rest is how it ranks the search results it generates, as a result of which it is determined, the order Google shows results on its search engine results page (SERP) in. Google utilizes a trademarked algorithm termed as PageRank, which assigns to each Web page their own relevancy score.
Crawling the Web
The procedure of crawling, carried out by Google’s very own crawlers, starts with a specific list of web addresses from previous crawls and sitemaps, that are given by website owners. As Google’s crawlers visit these websites, they utilize the links on these websites to discover other webpages as well. The software used for these gives very special attention to newer sites, dead links, and the changes to currently existing websites. Computer programs then find out and decide which sites to crawl, how frequent and the number of pages to get from each website.
The people at Google offer webmaster tools to provide site owners with the granular choices about how Google crawls their website; they can give various detailed instructions about how to process various web pages on their websites, they can request for a recrawl or can opt out of crawling entirely, with the help of a file known as “robots.txt”. Google never accepts any kind of payments to crawl a site more often than necessary, they provide the same tools to every single website to make sure the best possible results are generated for their users.
The internet is much like a library, that is ever-growing with billions of books and a non-existent central filing system. Google uses a software called web crawlers to search and find out web pages that are available publicly. The crawlers then take a look at web pages and follow the links on these pages finally, they keep proceeding from link to link and bring back the data about those webpages back to the servers of Google.
Using Search Algorithms
When you search for something on Google, you want a definite answer and not the billions of web pages, right? Google knows this and that’s why they use various ranking systems to sort through millions and billions of pages in their Search index to provide you with the most useful and relevant search results within less than a second. Wow, that’s faster than Flash himself!
Google’s ranking systems are created by a a series of search algorithms, that analyze what it is that you are searching for and what relevant information to revert back to you. Here are some of the ways used by Google to give you the most useful search results: –
Analyzing your words – Google first analyzes and understands the words in your search query, which is crucial to reverting back with the most relevant and useful search results. Google constructs language models to try to decipher the string of words they should look up in their large index.
Matching your search query – next, Google searches for web pages with the information that matches your search query. The algorithms look up the search terms used by you to find the most appropriate webpages.
Ranking the useful web pages – next, Google’s algorithms analyze the numerous different factors to try and surface the most relevant information the internet has to offer. Based on that, they look for the web pages that have information to offer which is relevant for you and has the aforementioned information in them. Based on the relevance and the number of times your search terms appear in them, Google ranks these pages.
Considering the context – Google then uses your location and country, your past history and various search settings, and similar information to deliver relevant content for the are you’re in.
Reverting the best results – once Google is done assessing how all the relevant content fits together, they revert back to you with all the relevant web pages and information. As the internet evolves, Google evolves its ranking systems to deliver the very best search results.
Providing Useful Responses
Larry Page had once said that the perfect search engine is one that understands exactly what you mean and gives back what you exactly want. Google stands by this. After letting its crawlers literally crawl all over the world of the Web and use the search algorithms to find out which web pages offer the most relevant information, Google then comes back to give you the content that is most relevant to you, depending on what you’ve search for, what your past search results were, and your current location.
To imagine, all this happens in the fraction of a second. Unbelievable, huh?