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Understanding Google And How It Works


It is rare to find a person that knows the Internet and does not know Google. That is how popular Google today. Of course, in some exceptional cases that you are one of those people who don’t know Google, I’ll give you a brief background of what it is.

Google is a search engine that lets you find what you want on the Internet. Since there are billions of websites out there with unimaginable information confined in them, it will be extremely difficult to skim through the World Wide Web and find exactly what you want. Think of it as looking for a needle in a mountain of haystack.

Thankfully, we have Google as a search engine. While there are other search engines that offer the same services such as Bing, Yahoo!, Ask.com, and Duck Duck Go, it is Google that has the largest share of users. Around 70 percent of Internet users choose Google as their preferred search engine.

So what makes Google this popular? Let us say, no one does it better. Google has 99% accuracy when it comes to presenting relevant contents. There will be times when Google gives results that are not exactly what you are looking for, but no one can deny the precision and accuracy of this search engine.

As you are using Google, you might come to the point in wondering how a search engine can seem to seamlessly present you relevant Internet content. Well, if not, the mere fact that you are reading this might have elicited curiosity on your mind.

In this post, let us explore this topic deeper and see how Google really understands your query.

Factors Google take into consideration

The whole process a search engine undergoes every time you hit the Enter key is exponentially complicated. Imagine a search engine has to index billions of pages and give you results within a span of only a millisecond! Think about the wonders of technology. As complicated as it may sound, the following are some of the factors that Google considers when answering a query.

  1. Location – Google has the power to identify where you are located and use that location to give you good results. For example, you live in Ontario, Canada, Google will give priority to websites that are somewhat related to Ontario, Canada.
  2. Keyword – the query words that you use will definitely affect the way Google will operate. It is the main factor that will guide the course of Google’s action.
  3. Time – some search results will first take into account the timing of your search. For example, if you look for pages about the 9/11 attack, you will most probably led to news pages.

The Search Engine Process

Google is a product of man’s quest to use software programs to make computer think like humans. The main goal of Google is to take search queries and understand it the way the user intends it to be. Through the brilliant minds behind Google, this has been achieved in great heights.

Step 1. Indexed pages

There are around 20 billion pages Google index each day. These web pages are stored in the World Wide Web as digital information. To make the search easier, Google has predetermined the relationship of each indexed pages. Google will try to group these web pages according to their content and relevance.

Step 2. Search Query

To start using the search engine, you need to enter query words. There are two ways that Google will interpret your keywords; literal search or semantic search. Let us take these two separately.

Literal search is when Google will look for a match of your keyword. For example, you typed-in Mobile Phones in Canada. As a literal search, it will look for different types of mobile phones, brands, style, prices, and other things related to Canada.

On the other hand, semantic search, Google will try to understand the context and the meaning of your keywords. Google will try to understand the relationship of each word in your query. The search engine will use its Knowledge Graph database and come up with the most relevant results.

Step 3. Deeper understanding of Google

Now, here is when things will get more complicated, at least for us, lay people. Google is so good at doing this that it seems too easy.

After literal search and semantic search, Google will use other factors and information. One good example is when you are an active user of Google+. Google will absorb the information from your Google+ account such as account history and location.

Google will also understand further the words that you used to search for information. The main words in your query will be taken into consideration and Google will look for its synonyms and related words. For example, you typed in “What is the function of UN?” Google will take the root of your queries. It will understand what UN is. After that, it will take a look at the whole search term. Then, find the primary synonym of “function” and “UN”.

Step 4. Taking On-Site Factors

After taking in all the information about the search query, Google will now look into the content of websites. The ultimate goal of Google is to determine the relevance of a website in relation with your search query.

A website will first look at the site structure which includes the home page and subpages. After that, page structure will then be examined. This includes the individual’s page structure relations such as the title, heading, sub heading, image alt attribute, meta description, and others.

Other on-site factors that will be included in Google search are external link relevance, internal link relevance, and the schema.org (a powerful tagging website that defines every word in your webpage).


After all these intricate and complicated processes, you will finally have your search engine return page (SERP). After reading all these information, it is unbelievable that search engine can give you results within a single second. SERP will contain a combination of millions of results arranged according to relevance.

I hope that this article made it clearer for you how Google understands your search queries. This knowledge is vital if you intend to increase the traffic in your website.

pauline c
By Pauline Cabrera

A twenty-something savvy web designer / social media manager / SEO strategist based in Toronto, Ontario. Passionate about web design, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and internet marketing. Follow me on social media and say hello! Follow me on Facebook Follow me on Instagram Follow me on Pinterest Follow me on Twitter

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