How Google Search Works (for beginners)

Google gathers information from a variety of sources, including the following:

  • Pages on the Internet – Webpage – Website
  • User-submitted content, such as your business profile and user submissions to Google Maps
  • Scanning of books
  • On-line public databases
  • Numerous additional sources

This page, on the other hand, is concerned with web pages. Google generates results from web pages in three simple steps:

  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Servants (and ranking)

Crawling

The first step is to determine how many web pages exist. Because there is no centralised database of all web pages, Google must constantly search for and add new pages to its list of known pages. Certain pages are well-known because Google has previously visited them. Google discovers new pages when it follows a link from a well-known page to a new page. Additional pages are discovered when a website owner submits a list of pages to Google for crawling (a sitemap). If you use a managed web host, such as Wix or Blogger, the managed web host may instruct Google to crawl any updated or new pages you create.

Once Google discovers a page’s URL, it visits the page, or crawls it, to determine what is on it. Google renders the page and analyses its textual and non-textual content, as well as its overall visual layout, in order to determine where it should appear in Search results. The more Google understands your site, the more effectively we can match it to people searching for your content.

How to optimise your website’s crawling:

  • Verify that Google can access and view the pages on your site. Google browses the web in the capacity of an anonymous user (a user with no passwords or information). Google must be able to see all of the page’s images and other elements in order to properly understand it. You can perform a quick check by entering the URL of your page into the Mobile-Friendly Test.
  • If you’ve created or updated a single page, you can submit it to Google using an individual URL. Utilize a sitemap to notify Google about numerous new or updated pages at once.
  • If you’re going to request that Google crawl only one page, make it your home page. Google considers your home page to be the most important page on your site. To facilitate a thorough site crawl, ensure that your home page (and all pages) contains an effective site navigation system that links to all of your site’s important sections and pages; this assists users (and Google) in navigating your site. For smaller sites (fewer than 1,000 pages), notifying Google of only your homepage is sufficient, provided that Google can access all of your other pages via a path of links that begins with your homepage.
  • Obtain a link to your page from another page that Google is already aware of. However, be aware that Google will not follow links in advertisements, links purchased from other sites, links in comments, or any other links that violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Indexing

Google attempts to determine the purpose of a page after it is discovered. This is referred to as indexing. Google analyses the page’s content, catalogues any images or video files embedded on the page, and attempts to understand the page in general. This data is stored in the Google index, a massive database spread across numerous computers.

To enhance your page’s indexation:

  • Create concise, informative page titles.
  • Utilize page headings that convey the page’s subject.
  • Use text to convey information rather than images. Google is capable of comprehending some images and videos, but not as well as it is capable of comprehending text. At the very least, annotate your video and images with alt text and other appropriate attributes.

Servants (and ranking)

When a user types a query, Google uses a variety of factors to determine the most relevant answer from its index. Google makes an attempt to determine the highest-quality answers and to factor in other factors that will result in the best user experience and the most appropriate answer, taking factors such as the user’s location, language, and device into account (desktop or phone). For instance, a user in Paris may see different results when searching for “bicycle repair shops” than a user in Hong Kong. Google does not accept payment in exchange for ranking pages higher, and ranking is determined algorithmically.

To improve your serving and ranking, follow these steps:

  • Make your page quick to load and responsive to mobile devices.
  • Maintain your page’s useful content and keep it current.
  • Adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, which assist in ensuring a positive user experience.
  • Additional tips and best practises are available in our SEO beginner’s guide.
  • You can learn more about how Search works, including the guidelines we provide to our quality raters to ensure we deliver the best results possible.

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