How Google Search Works

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For most of us, Google represents the most ubiquitous and least understood internet influence in our lives. While Google touches us in so many ways, we are clueless as to the mechanics of its operation. Google is trying to change that with the introduction of a new web site that gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse to the workings of the iconic search engine. The site, http://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/thestory/, offers an info-graphic that charts the path a search query follow as it travels through Google’s labyrinth of checks and balances.

Google’s Product Manager Jake Hubert describes the site as where ”…you can follow the entire life of a search query, from web to crawling and indexing, to algorithmic ranking and serving, to fighting web spam.” All of this occurs in the blink of an eye, belying the complexity of the task in the public’s perception.

The new Google site serves to change that perception with a detailed, easy-to-understand description of the process in which a search query ends up on the results page and into your browser. In addition, the site will act as a clearing house for other resources such as a Google blog, research papers, help center, and user forums. “We hope the site helps to illuminate the split-second journey from algorithms to answers,” Hubert added.

The animated presentation of search gives insight to important issues such as how Google removes spam and how it wages war against it. The Google site incorporates a live sideshow that graphically demonstrates the depths of the spam problem and how it threatens the very relevancy of the search engine. Google also is offering a 43-page document that delineates how Google assesses relevancy in its search results. However, Google will only reveal so much of its highly propitiatory algorithm formula.

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