How Search Works


>> CUTTS: Hi, my name is Matt Cutts. I’m an engineer
in the quality group at Google and I’d like to talk today about what happens when you
do a web search. The first thing to understand is that when you do a Google search, you aren’t
actually searching the web, you’re searching Google’s index of the web, or at least as
much of it as we can find. We do this with software programs called spiders. Spiders
start by fetching a few web pages then they follow the links on those pages and fetch
the pages they point to, and follow all the links on those pages and fetch the pages they
link to and so on, until we’ve indexed a pretty big chunk of the web–many billions of pages
stored across thousands of machines. Now, suppose I want to know how fast a cheetah
can run. I type in my search, say, cheetah running speed and hit return. Our software
searches our index to find every page that includes those search terms. In this case,
there are hundreds of thousands of possible results. How does Google decide which few
documents I really want? By asking questions–more than 200 of them. Like, how many times does
this page contain your keywords? Do the words appear in the title, in the URL, directly
adjacent? Does the page include synonyms for those words? Is this page from a quality website
or is it low quality, even spamming? What is this page’s PageRank? That’s a formula
invented by our founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin that rates a web page’s importance by
looking at how many outside links point to it, and how important those links are. Finally,
we combine all those factors together to produce each page’s overall score and send you back
your search results about half a second after you submit your search. At Google, we take
our commitment to delivering useful and impartial search results very seriously. We don’t ever
accept payment to add a site to our index, update it more often or improve its ranking.
Let’s take a look at my search results. Each entry includes a title, a URL and a snippet
of text to help me decide whether this page is what I’m looking for. I also see links
to similar pages, Google’s most recent stored version of that page, and related searches
that I might want to try next. And sometimes, along the right and at the top, I’ll see adds.
We take our advertising business very seriously as well, both our commitment to deliver the
best possible audience for advertisers and to strive to only show ads that you really
want to see. We’re very careful to distinguish your ads from regular search results and we
won’t show you any ads at all if we can’t find any that we think will help you find
the information you’re looking for–which, in this case, the cheetah’s top running speed
is more than 60 miles an hour. Thanks for watching, I hope this made Google a little
bit more understandable.

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