What happens when you do a Google search?
How does the search engine analyze and organize the information it finds on the Internet to deliver the most relevant results?
How does Google work?
It is often a question that those who do SEO, or those who want to learn it, do not ask themselves enough (or do not do it at all). We immediately move on to “how do I get to the first position”? As if this were the only truth to seek.
But the truth in my opinion is that as with the guitar when you learn songs before scales, it’s a way to make your knowledge and ability limited.
I was almost shocked by how in Italy this splendid speech at SMX West 2016 by Paul Haar, a Google software engineer with 14 years of service behind him, was beautifully ignored to echo the usual alarmism and clickbait titles that now haunt the SEO landscape. international.
Cory Collins, who I honestly did not know before this post (and of which you will find more information a few lines below), made this splendid summary post for “the laziest”, which I know for sure that almost no one in Italy would have faced as in the English language, actually committing a huge mistake.
So I decided to adapt it in Italian because I think that anyone who works in an area that touches or even touches on SEO should read a post like this. I say “adapt” because I took the liberty of making it clearer: I removed slide citations and links to the various parts of the video to lighten the page, and I introduced additional parts into the text to clarify the parts that were a little smokier or just touched.
Take your time because it will be a long and interesting journey.
One of the most common words on Google is ‘lasagna’. It is found in 59 million search results. Some want to know the traditional recipe of the Italian dish and those simply want to know who is Dr. Lasagna, the father of modern pharmacology.
All data on ‘lasagna’ are present on Google’s server rack 3349B, located in Ireland, in Ballybane. Here is one of the main European server farms of the American giant, which first of all understood what web surfers needed: a search engine.
You have been using the computer for several years now and, thanks to the advice and suggestions I have given you over time, you have been able to solve practically all your problems with information technology and technology. However, since you never stop learning, it is my concern to provide you with some “tips” that can help you better understand how Google works. Maybe you’re thinking you already know everything about how to do a Google search but, remember what I told you a few moments ago? You never stop learning, bravo!
There are some aspects related to the research done on the famous search engine that, most likely, you ignored until a few moments ago but that, thanks to this article, you will finally be able to learn more and use to refine your online searches. First of all, I will explain to you how a Google search technically works (without going too far into unnecessary technicalities) and then I will show you in detail some “tricks” to search optimally for news, word definitions, specific sites, the prices of a particular well and even how to convert currencies and do the math on Google without resorting to the calculator or specific apps.
What do you say? Did I intrigue you and now you can’t wait to read the rest of the article? Well, in this case, all you have to do is make yourself comfortable, take all the time you need to concentrate on reading the next paragraphs, and “try out in the field” (or rather, on the browser) the suggestions I am about to give you. In the meantime, I wish you good reading and good research on Google!
Trying to answer these questions is essential to be able to do a good SEO job because it is important to know the mechanisms that underlie the functioning of Google and to understand that the search keywords are not all treated in the same way, that for each you need a different strategy and that relying only on good text is no longer enough to be well-positioned.
The work that Google does today is based on categorization. Everything is cataloged and inserted into categories to return a complete response to our requests, also trying to understand our intent, so it behaves differently for the following types of research:
- le visit in person (especially for mobile searches) when we are looking for something that has a physical location
- web site queries when what we are looking for are resources that correspond to a web address
I query it when we intend to do something like a purchase, or a transaction. This is the case with products and services
- le know query when we look for information about something or someone, and it returns what is called “entities”
Such a simple act, like typing terms on Google and receiving, in a few moments, the list of corresponding pages has become a common action. But finding out what’s behind it can be very interesting.
The research is all based on huge software, which communicates with Google’s rack servers and returns the matches between the words typed in the box and the constantly updated archive. That software periodically downloads a copy of the entire web, overwriting the pages already in its possession, and creating an index in which it is indicated where every single word present online appears, on the ‘mapped’ web (therefore not the dark web, but this is another speech).
Think of Google Search as an index to a book, where the book is the world wide web. This video gives an idea.
You can get a look at the article HOW TO GET THERE FIRST ON GOOGLE AND STAY THERE at the link
Scansione, indicizzazione e classificazione, così il world wide web è diventato alla portata di clic
A question of algorithms in Google Search.
Google search is closely tied to its algorithm, which it updates more often than we think, and which helps organize the results by showing the ones that respond best to what you type at the top.
Google follows three basic steps to generate results: crawling, indexing, and ranking.
When you type something in the search bar, Google analyzes which pages on the web content that term. Since there is no central register of web pages on the internet, it constantly adds them to its list. To do this, it uses the so-called crawler or spider, which takes note of all the keywords, web pages, descriptions, and so on, to improve the data search.
(NB: a crawler is a software that analyzes the contents of a network in a methodical and automated way, usually on behalf of a search engine).
While advertisers can pay to be displayed in clearly featured sections of the page, no one can buy a better ranking in search results.
Indexing and classification
After a page is discovered, Google stores all the data it contains, including videos, images, and catalogs. This process is called Indexing. The information is then stored in the Google index, a huge database spread over the servers around the world. When the user searches for something, Google crawls the indexed pages to provide the best result. Pay attention to factors such as language, location, and device, and so much so that the same word typed by me or by a person living in India will give different results, positioned differently in the ranking of the pages.
Over time, Google has improved its algorithm by giving it special ‘powers’. For example in the visual search of the information sheets. The tab in Google Search is an algorithm-based system that allows us to know the facts about people, places, and things in the world by automatically associating the attributes and relationships of these real entities with information collected from the web, structured databases, licensed data, and other sources. This collection of facts allows us to answer a query like “Roberto Mancini” with an information sheet containing the relevant facts of the national team coach.
The algorithm is also the creator of the “predictive” type functionality, ie the automatic completion of the text in the search box. As we enter the characters in the bar, the autocomplete matches what you type and the most common searches.
Big G uses encryption to prevent hackers and third parties from finding out what surfers have been looking for online. All searches made on google.com or in the Google app are protected by encrypting the data exchange between the personal device and the servers.
Search Intent and Keyword Suggest
Google wants to understand the intent of our research to provide us with the results that best meet our needs. To do this, it categorizes us by personalization, through the memorization of the searches we have carried out previously, and by relevance through the geolocation of the place from which the search is carried out. It also takes into account what other people have searched for starting with our search term.
Thus, when we enter our keyword, Google offers us the Keyword Suggest, that is, it shows us suggestions for search keywords similar and related to ours, to provide a specific answer to a specific request.
This makes us understand the importance of working on the long tail of keywords. In this way, we will have a smaller number of searches, but at the same time, we will have interested users and therefore more chances of being present in the first positions and receiving more clicks on our link.
Google Universal Search
It is the new model of the search engine.
If previously Google returned only textual content on the first page of the results (web pages and documents), while images and videos were proposed in a separate search, today among the first search results we find different types of information, not only textual but also images, videos, maps, books, products, news.
This happens when we do very general searches, usually starting from a single term. For example, if we search for “Sardinia”, we do not give Google enough elements to understand what we are looking for. So, in addition to the Keyword Suggest, he offers us a page that already includes everything he found on the subject of Sardinia.
As for travel, Google has also created tourist guides grouping information, itineraries, destinations, and even flights and hotels.
SEO for the media
Let’s see what are the main elements to work on for each resource.
You have to put keywords in the filename and the Title tag
Optimization by title, description. Interactions (links, embeds) are important, but one of the most determining factors is the viewing time, so we need to create captivating videos that entice the user to watch them until the end.
It is necessary to have a Google My Business card with reviews, equal geolocation between site and card, link to the card. The diffusion of the brand on the sites of the sector also affects.
In this case, it is necessary to work on the authority of the domain in its category, in addition to the optimization of the contents, the originality, and the “freshness” of the news counts because Google eliminates old, no longer current content. The quotations and sharing of the news on Social Media are affected.
The web resources are scanned, registered, and cataloged by Google software (spiders, robots …) according to the settings of its algorithms, but they are also evaluated by the “quality raters” who establish their quality based on the treated topic, considering that, as we have seen, searches are no longer considered only for the word entered but for the topic related to this word.
The quality rates are people who must follow specific guidelines dictated by Google to support the work of the algorithms and make sure that the sites meet the required quality standards.
How Google Search Works
When you search on Google, Big G’s algorithm performs complex mathematical calculations that analyze the keywords you typed to return the most relevant search result. All this happens very quickly and, most likely, when you are going to search on Google you do not think at all about the fact that the results that will come out of your search are the result of the aforementioned mathematical calculations.
But how does Google find the web pages that match your question (or query)? And based on what criteria does Google establish the order of the various search results it offers you? In other words, how does Google search work? Everything happens through a procedure that is made up of three key processes.
- Scanning – in this phase Google uses the so-called Google bots (also known as bots or spiders), ie programs that, using an algorithmic process, detect new Web pages and add them to the boundless Google index.
- Indexing – at this stage the Google bots process each page that has been crawled and compile a list (or index) of all the words found and their positions on each page.
- Return of results – in this phase, Google’s computers search the index of pages corresponding to the search carried out by the user and return the results deemed most relevant by taking into account over 200 different factors.
How to search on Google
Now it’s time to tell you how to Google. In addition to the “classic” generic Web search that you can do by typing the keywords of your interest in the search bar of the well-known search engine, you can also carry out targeted searches that will allow you to more easily find news, images, videos, weather information, results in sports, definitions and much more. To do this, first, connect to the Google website, and follow the instructions contained in the following paragraphs.
To search for news on Google, type a word or a phrase in the search bar (e.g. road accident, earthquake, etc.), click on the magnifying glass symbol and, as soon as you have obtained search results, click on the item News located immediately below the search field. As if by “magic”, you will have access to a whole series of articles and news regarding the query you searched for.
To search for an image on Google, click here to directly access the section of the search engine that allows you to do this and type a keyword of your interest in the search field (eg butterfly, dog, hamster, etc.). As you can see, Google will find a series of images matching your search. To carry out an even more specific search, click on the Tools button located immediately below the search bar and, in the menu that appears, filter the results by choosing the size, color, or type of image you are looking for.
If you wish, you can also do the reverse image search and check for images similar or identical to a photo of your choice. To take advantage of this feature, click on the camera symbol and choose whether to upload an image from your computer or paste the URL of an image already on the Internet.
Searching for videos on Google is quite simple: type a word or phrase of your interest in the Google search field, click on the magnifying glass symbol, and, as soon as you see the page containing the search results, click on the item Video located immediately below the search bar. As you can see, all the results obtained are videos corresponding to the keyword you used.
The price of an asset
Searching for the price of a good on Google is as easy as drinking a glass of water. All you have to do is write the euro symbol (€) before or after the price of the asset you are looking for. For example, if you want a new smartphone to appear and you do not want to spend more than 250 euros, type in the Google search bar best smartphones 250 € and press on the magnifying glass symbol to start the search.
You can search for the price of an asset using, in addition to the euro symbol, other currencies such as the US dollar ($) or the pound sterling (£).
By typing the word weather on the Google search bar, you will be able to view the weather information of the location where you are currently located. If you want to know what the weather is like in another location, just add the word “weather” to the name of a location of your interest (eg Tokyo weather). A very convenient function, don’t you think?
Do you want to search for sports information on Google, such as the results of the last matches of your favorite team or the calendar of the various sports matches that they will have to support during the championship? In this case, just type in the search bar the name of the team you are interested in and click on the magnifying glass symbol to get all the info you are looking for and which is enclosed in a special box.
Definitions of terms
You may not have known that, but Google has a built-in dictionary that can be easily accessed by anyone who wants to. To call up the Google dictionary and search for a definition within it, just write define before any query and that’s it. For example, if you want to search for the definition of the term “computer”, type define computer in the Google search bar and click on the magnifying glass symbol to search for the definition you are interested in.
If you want to carry out a search that returns results from specific sites, you must use the site operator: followed by the name of the website of your interest and the term you want to search for. For example, if you want to read an article about the best cameras on your site, in the Google search field you have to write site: aranzulla.it best cameras and press on the magnifying glass symbol. Easy, right?
Currency converter and calculator
Do you need to do some math, but you don’t have a currency converter or a calculator available? If so, you can use Google’s currency converter and calculator.
To call the currency converter on Google, type in the search bar the unit value to be converted, the currency (e.g. dollars, euros, etc.), and start the search. To give a practical example, if you want to know how many dollars equals 10 euros, type the query 10 euros in dollars in the search bar and click on the magnifying glass symbol.
To perform a mathematical calculation, on the other hand, type the operation to be carried out in the Google search bar (e.g. 7 * 91), click on the magnifying glass icon, and, as you can see, not only has the calculation been carried out that you brought to the attention of Big G, but a calculator has also appeared to use when needed!
If a topic becomes trending on social networks, you can search for it on Google using the symbol (#) and typing the word that indicates the reference topic to search via hashtag. A practical example? #WhatsAppDown.
If you want to get a particularly precise search result, you can type a word or phrase and quote it using the symbols (“). For example, if you are looking for an article that tells you how to find anonymous on Ask, type in the search bar the query “How to find a person with a phone number” and click on the magnifying glass symbol to start the search and to find an item that meets your request.
If you are unsure what you want to look for, you can use the symbol (*) where you intend to leave a placeholder. For example, if you are searching because you want to find a new job, you could type in the search bar the query how to search for work on * and click on the magnifying glass symbol to start the search.
Sites in Google’s cache
Want to see the version of a website that has been cached by Google, perhaps because the site in question is momentarily KO? In this case, use the cache operator: in front of the address of the site in question. For example, if you want to search my site, write the query cache: aranzulla.it is in the search bar click on the magnifying glass symbol.
However, if you search using the OR operator, you will get results that will contain at least one of the two terms searched. An example of a search conducted through this operator? Wi-Fi OR 4G / LTE tablet.
Are you looking for sites that are related to a website you already know? In this case, I recommend that you use the Related operator. To do this, just type in the search bar related: followed by the name of the website you already know. Do you want a practical example that illustrates what has just been said? Write related: aranzulla.it is in the search field and click on the magnifying glass symbol to see which sites are related to mine.
Information in brief
Are you looking for summary information about a location, a multinational, a VIP, or a song? Well, in this case, just type in the query of your interest to access a box containing some brief information about the same. For example, if you search by typing the word Los Angeles, you will see some summary information regarding our capital.
Information relating to a website
Are you interested in getting some information about a particular website? In this case, use the info operator: followed by the name of the site you are interested in and you will be able to see details regarding the related sites, the exact matches, and so on (details that you can also view using the operators I have just indicated ). For example, if you want to get information about my site, write the query info: aranzulla.it is in the search bar click on the magnifying glass symbol.
Advanced Google Search
Do you need to find specific content on the Internet but the search tools and operators I have listed so far haven’t been of much help to you? In this case, use the advanced search tool made available by Google thanks to which you can narrow your search using the numerous options available. For example, you can search by excluding certain words, including others, specify the sites and/or domains you want to view, you can filter explicit results via SafeSearch, and much more.