Google Search Algorithm

How Does Google Search Algorithm Work?

Ashkar Gomez
11min read
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Tons of informations are overloaded on the internet, and search engines find ways to provide the best among them. Google Search Algorithm is a combination and series of multiple processes and rules used to solve specific information. These processes and rules are step-by-step procedures used to find the desired data among the data collected.

Many algorithms can accord and affect each other. Every time you search, there are more than thousands and millions of Webpages with lots of information. Sametime, about 5.6 Billion searches are happening via the google search engine.

So, Google developers prefix the Googlebot aligning with Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) manages the set of rules while ranking. It figures out the results to show, even long before you type. They are guided by an assurance to you to provide the best information.

Google search Engine algorithm deals with the search queries, which make the relevant content available that satisfies the user’s needs of information

Overview of Google Search Algorithm:

Analyzing and Organizing the Content of the Webpage

Content should be visible to search engines. When you have a colossal range, you need a shortcut to that content.

Google cannot have a giant database containing all the pages they sort through every time a user search for a query. It would be too slow to do. To avoid that, they create an index that fundamentally shortcuts this process.

Search engines use some technology like Hadoop for managing and searching large amounts of data very quickly. Searching the index is a quicker way than searching the entire database.

Website visitors will never be the same. The target audiences vary between different levels of search intent. Search intent might prefer different ways of content nature, such as ocular, acoustic, or interactive.

Content Matching User Search Intent

Within seconds, Google will start sorting more than billions of WebPages in our Search index and finds the most relevant that matches as possible.

The indexing process is the initial test for determining what should appear in the results. When users search for something, they want to get the most relevant results.

Search engines can find relevance with on-page SEO and off-page SEO factors. Both factors deal with the placing of keywords.

Consider if the domain is relevant to the Search, then this will enhance the relevancy score of the individual page for ranking.

Ranking the Website with High Relevance and Authority

Before you see your results, the information is intended and sorted by relevance. When a user checks for a query or keyphrases, your search engine matches the keywords on a website.

Algorithms work for a specific reason. In this case, the Google search engine produces the results according to the user’s needs.

For instance:

  • The Panda algorithm examines the content.
  • The Penguin algorithm evaluates links.

Each algorithm plays its role differently, but they work together to influence rankings. Remember, algorithms compute content, URLs, external and internal links, images, etc.

Google provides quick results in many practical formats. Whether accessible as a map with directions, images, or videos, they are endlessly evolving with new ways to present helpful information.

Improving User Experience

Google Search will always be rapid and enhance user experience. That’s why Google engineers spend their days testing, conducting thousands of experiments that result in thousands of improvements every year.

Here are some tips and tricks to improve your Google Search experience:

  • Include and exclude keywords (adding a plus symbol (+) or a minus symbol (-) in front of words you would like Google to include or exclude in the search results)
  • Use Google to locate files (type in “filetype:”)
  • Search by time (fill in an exact period)
  • Do a website search (add “site: URL” to the end of your search query)

Advance your Search (refine your searches, such as by region or language)

Key factors of Google Search Algorithm:

The ranking systems are not made up of one but many algorithms. To provide you with the most useful information, search algorithms consider many factors, including your

  • Meaning of Your Query
  • Relevancy of Web Pages
  • Quality of Content
  • Usability of Web Pages
  • Context and Settings

The value applied to each element varies depending on the nature of your query. For example, content freshness plays a larger role in answering news queries but it doesn’t apply to dictionary definitions.

Meaning of your Query:

To give relevant results to your query, we first need to find out the purpose of your question. Understanding your objective is mainly understanding your language, which is an essential aspect of Search.

We can create language models to interpret which strings of words we should look for in the index.

This demands some simple steps such as identifying spelling errors, and it extends to trying to understand the type of question you have entered using some recent research into natural language comprehension.

For example, our synonymous system helps Search for information on what you mean by organizing many words with the same meaning.

There are different categories of search queries, with different intentions.

“A search query is a term or keyword combination that users enter in search engines to find things of interest”

Informational Searches

People who are looking for general information will perform these searches. They are usually looking for guides on how to do something.

“Search for Information Needs are Almost Always Incomplete”

Navigational Searches

People who are looking to find a particular web page related to a particular brand or product comes under navigational searches.

Transactional Searches

The searches related to the intention of making a purchase are referred to as transactional search query, which includes keywords like “order,” “buy,” or “purchase.”

Search algorithms are trying to understand what category of information you are looking for:

  • Whether it is a specific search or a broad query?
  • A query is written in other languages,
  • Query on local businesses, etc.

One of the important elements of this query categorization is to analyze, whether the query is seeking new or trending content. It almost took many years to develop and improve search results in over 30% of queries across languages.

Relevance of webpages:

Google search algorithms first analyze the content of web pages to assess whether the page contains information that is relevant to what the user is searching.

The relevance of the webpage includes some factors like visible content, images, or videos. It can also be generated through other elements like title, meta description, and alt tags.

“Relevancy is about contrasting options that allow making decisions.”

Criteria for determining Content Relevance:

Search metrics analyze Content Relevance with Content Score and ranking factors. The following are some criteria for determining Content Relevance:

  • Content language
  • Body text
  • Page title
  • Images and graphics
  • Local aspect

When the relevance score is high, the more relevant content of the analyzed landing page can be considered for the related search query.

Quality of the Content

SEO professionals evaluate content “quality” with some qualities. They are Length of content, Spelling, grammar, readability, EAT (Expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness), etc.

These traits also play an essential role but don’t define quality content. It can be defined with the following qualities:

  • Defined by Data
  • Achieves Marketing Objectives
  • Ranks Well in Google
  • Has Remarkable CTR
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Does Well on Every Channel

E-A-T came from a critical Google document known as “the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines,” which provides an idea of what is considered a high (prominent site) or low-quality website from Google’s perspective.

Make sure to provide adequate information to the user. The site should reflect E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness to assess the quality of Google’s search results. EAT suggests a website holds all the information around the seed keyword; this makes up the Topical Authority.

Other signals of search engine value content as quality are the number of backlinks, dwell time, scroll depth, bounce rate, social shares, etc.

The spam algorithm plays an important part in identifying if a page is of low quality and the Search to make sure the website doesn’t rank in results through manipulation.

The Google Webmaster Guidelines describe techniques that characterize these low-quality spammy sites, by buying links that pass PageRank or inserting invisible text on the page.

Usability of Webpages:

The usability of a web page has become an article of trade. Google Search Algorithm also evaluates whether websites are easy to use during ranking results.

Once we identify constant pain points for users, we develop algorithms to promote more usable pages instead of less used pages.

These algorithms analyze signals that indicate whether all users can see the results in every device. Also, the website renders ideally across different browsers.

Do the web pages designed for all device types and sizes, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones, and whether page load times work well for users with slow internet connections.

As website owners can improve the usability of their websites, we strive to notify site owners in advance of significant and actionable changes to the algorithm—our search engine.

For example, in January 2018, we announced that our algorithms would start taking into account the “page speed” of web pages six months before the changes were implemented.

To help website owners, we’ve provided detailed guides and tools like Page Speed Insights and so site owners can see what adjustments they need to make their website more mobile-friendly.

“A Good usability must be available, clear, credible, learnable, and relevant to the user who uses it; it cannot be achieved overnight.”

5 key factors of good website usability:

  • Accessibility (Server uptime, Broken links, Mobile responsiveness)
  • Clarity (Simplicity, Familiarity, Consistency, Guidance, feedback, information architecture)
  • Learnability
  • Credibility
  • Relevancy

Context and Setting:

Google’s search algorithms must consider information such as location, past search history, language, custom settings, and inbuilt personalization attributes that help the user to mold their results as useful and relevant.

Context defines the structure and behavior of your search engine. If you do search from your location, Google will show you results about that specified area.

Consider you are in Texas, whereas you search for a “restaurant” and Google will deliver the result about the restaurant in and around Texas.

Search includes some features that personalize results based on the activity in your Google account.


  • Google Search Algorithms are the base of the ranking system and how Google evaluates a page rank of a web page.
  • These fundamental factors are streamlined by Machine learning and Artificial intelligence by google bot as Google Algorithm updates.
  • Every SEO practitioner should focus on these five pillars.
    • Meaning of the Query
    • Relevance of the Web Pages
    • Quality of Content
    • Usability of Web Pages
    • Context and Setting
  • Also, you should be aware of the search engine’s work.
Picture of Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez is the Founder of 7 Eagles (a Growth Marketing & SEO Company). Ashkar started his career as a Sales Rep in 2013 and later shifted his career to SEO in 2014. He is one of the leading SEO experts in the industry with 8+ years of experience. He has worked on 200+ projects across 20+ industries in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, UAE, Australia, South Africa, and India. Besides SEO and Digital Marketing, he is passionate about Data Analytics, Personal Financial Planning, and Content Writing.

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