Google Gives You A Closer Look At ‘How Search Works’

    March 1, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Google has released a new section on its Inside Search site called “How Search Works,” which includes an animated graphic explaining just that. It also provides a “view into major search algorithms and features,” a 43-page document about the guidelines for search raters, a slideshow about spam removal, graphs about spam, and a list of policies that explain when Google will remove content.

The animation is only available in English,but there’s also a text version in 43 languages.

On the site, Goole lists its projects that it “constantly tunes and refines”. These are: Answers, Autocomplete, Books, Freshness, Google Instant, Images, Indexing, Knowledge Graph, Mobile, News, Query Understanding, Refinements, SafeSearch, Search Methods, Site & Page Quality, Snippets, Spelling, Synonyms, Translation and Internationalization, Universal Search, User Context, and Videos.

For “Site & Page Quality,” Google says, “Uses a set of signals to determine how trustworthy, reputable, or authoritative a source is. (One of these signals is PageRank, one of Google’s first algorithms, which looks at links between pages to determine their relevance.)”

User context is defined as, “Provides more relevant results based on geographic region, Web History, and other factors.”

The “Live Spam Screenshots” section is interesting. It will show you a page, for example, that was removed from search results 34 minutes ago. It’s currently allowing you to look at 56 examples (all removed 33-34 minutes ago) in slideshow format. When you click “next,” you’re presented with a warning that says, “These screenshots are generated automatically and are not manually filtered. While uncommon, you may see offensive, sexually explicit, or violent content.”

There is still a note under the slideshow, which says, “We’ve removed some pornographic content and malware from this demo, but otherwise this is an unfiltered stream of fresh English examples of ‘pure spam’ removals.”

Google then runs through the various types of spam: cloaking and/or sneaky redirects, hacked site, hidden text and/or keyword stuffing, parked domains, pure spam, spammy free hosts and dynamic DNS providers, thin content with little or no added value, unnatural links fro a site, unnatural links to a site, and user-generated spam. The site includes this graph showing the number of domains affected by a manual action over time, broken down by different spam types:

SPam Graph

This is followed by the listing of spam-fighting milestones, and some other interesting graphs about webmaster notifications and reconsideration requests.

Finally, the site gives you a brief overview of Google’s policies on: access to information, algorithms over manual action, exceptions lists, fighting spam and malware, transparency for webmasters, preventing identity theft, legal removals, fighting child exploitation, shocking content, and SafeSearch.

  • Robert

    all stats available until mid of 2012. It time (end of spring 2012) when their serp become only partially relevant and full of adwords & youtube, livestrong/ehow, wikipedia and google ads. Perfect example of VANILLA serp, which show only top authority sites for anything. If you need to find any deep information – it just impossible and adwords is EVERYWHERE.
    So it cool to see how it hard for google to deliver search results, but their serp & adwords only killing their popularity now. Just imagine how much peoples at the world feel so bad about google.

  • http://www.gamingbuild.com Jack

    Good insight into how google does things. There is so much hear say and conjecture about how google manages it search results that it can lead to confusing or conflicting advise for webmasters.

  • http://www.makeasizzlingwebsite.com Mark A. Demers

    I find my results in search dropping lately for both my sites and by reading this and looking at what Google considers spam , I may be guilty. It looks like things such as having the same word repeated in a page title and /or in the page body can hurt a site. I`ll have to review all my pages now to try and identify which pages have things like I seen in Google`s “How Search Works” animated graphics. I will now have to update my article Website Planning and Content Structure with a section on spamming to help people out and keep them informed.

    Thanks for the post and the referemnce to Google`s search explained interactive graphics page(it was very informative).

    Have a great day !!

    Mark D.

  • http://Mabuzi.com Mabuzi

    Interesting but I am sure a long read. If location affects search results and now circles too it is going to get very complicated.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/company/brick-marketing---boston-seo-firm Nick Stamoulis

    I think the spam screenshots is a good idea. Give site owners a visual they can compare their site up against. It may not be perfect but it might give people a better idea of what not to do.

  • http://www.dbsit.com.au/ Mike Lowry

    Google refine its search time to time, In past two years back a site got top ranking which have the repeated keywords in Title, Header and content. Nowadays, Google give the priority to the sites which have more informative content.