How Google Search Works

April 25, 2012

There are many people who aren’t too familiar with how Google Search works and how it ranks the pages of a website. We’ve put together a brief summary of how Google Search works based on the video that Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, recently posted.


Google uses PageRank for its ranking algorithm. If your page has a good PageRank, then the chances of Google finding it early on during the crawl are better than if your PageRank isn’t so good. Every time there is an update on the web, Google is usually able to find this new content fairly fast.

Indexing Pages

Google will then index the pages it finds during the crawl. Google will look at every web page and determine which web pages have certain search terms or part of the search terms. When Google is indexing them, it will list all of the web pages that a certain search term appears in.

Ranking Web Pages

The final aspect is ranking the web pages for the search terms someone puts into Google. If someone searches Google for ‘Jennifer Lopez,’ Google will take into consideration which pages have both “Jennifer” and “Lopez.” If there are pages that only contain one word and not the other, Google won’t think that they are significant enough to appear in the results.

During Google’s ‘Document Selection,’ any web page that has both ‘Jennifer’ and ‘Lopez.’ Google then has to figure out how to rank each web page that contains both terms by taking over 200 other factors into consideration. This is in order for it to find which page is influential and how it should rank it.

If pages have the words ‘Jennifer’ and ‘Lopez’ right next to each other with many links, then it will be considered to be more important than a web page that has ‘Jennifer’ on one page and ‘Lopez’ on another page of the website. In order to provide searchers with results they’re looking for in order of importance, the 200+ ranking factors play a big role in determining which content is more relevant. Google will also provide searchers with a brief portion of the web page that contains the search terms.

Google is constantly making ranking algorithm changes, so marketers need to keep themselves updated on what is going on in the world of Google so that web pages can still be ranked higher.

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