How Does Google Work

Google is the king of search and an absolute necessity if you want your website to be found. Most do not know what they actually do, or how it works. Here we will try to demystify it a bit by pulling back the curtain.

There is a reason that the Internet is referred to as the “web.” If you try to visualize the web it is an intricate group of links and paths. Google follows each link, from one site to another. There are three main components to Google Search: a crawler, an algorithm, and an index.

Search engines like Google follow links. They follow links from one web page to another. Google consists of three major components: a crawler, an index, and an algorithm. The crawler literally “crawls” around the Internet every second of every day and saves an HTML version of every single web page it finds in an enormous database called the Index. If the Crawler ever finds an updated or a new page it saves that version. How often your site is crawled will vary based on the amount of traffic you receive and how often you make changes. This is important to note, as this is why we tell clients a blog is important; it brings crawlers back more often and shows Google you are providing more information regularly.

To find your site to begin with there has to be a link from another site that was previously indexed to your site. Once the crawler finds and follows that link, you will now be added to the index. Now the possibility exists for your site to appear on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Then there is Google's Secret Algorithm

When a user performs a search, Google looks to their index to try to match the search terms to pages its algorithm determines are most relevant to what is being requested. The exact workings of this algorithm is like the recipe for Coke, no one really knows just how it works, or what factors determine the ordering of those results.

The most challenging part of this algorithm is that it is constantly changing, with about 1.5 minor tweaks each day, and then there are major updates. With many of these changes, the ordering of results can change. We are not completely in the dark with these, they do tell us some of the most important changes, but how important is not known, since we do not know if they are telling us everything. Our team is constantly experimenting and testing to make a determination as to how to best continue to improve a client's ranking.

Google on phone

The value of links for search engines

Understanding how search engines, including Google, use links is important. The number of links pointing to a specific page on your site is used to rank the importance of a page. This means that the more links a specific site has, the more important the search engine determines it to be. Think of it as if every link is a vote for that page or that site. The more votes a page gets, the higher it will rank.

There are different types of links and some have a greater value than others. Internal links are links from one page on your site to another page on your site, external links are from other websites to yours, and both are valuable. A link from a site with a lot of incoming links is usually more important than from small websites with just a few links. This is why when we perform SEO for your site, we build new links every month from other well-ranked sites back to your site.

It is important that the links make sense and are useful. There are links that are “shady” and can actually hurt your ranking, so it important not just to go and get a bunch of links, and never buy them, as they may not be from reputable or relevant sites. No link is better than a bad link. We do remove bad links to clients’ sites regularly. Google is good at penalizing you for bad links, they will slap you.

Search Engine Optimization and Google

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the optimization of sites to make them rank better on the SERPs. We work to mold your site to what Google wants and to make their algorithm happy.  Google is looking to serve up the best answer to the question and a great experience.  With over a decade in SEO, our team has a good handle on what the most important factors are.

We are constantly monitoring all of the communications from Google about changes they made to the algorithm. SEO is not a trick, it is a process. They have one goal; deliver the best results in the best format for the user.  So, make sure you have content (words) on every page, preferably 500-1000 of them. Make sure that keywords are in that content often. Make sure you link from a term in that. Content to another page on your site when possible.