While businesses spend time and money on Search Engine Optimization, Google is behind the scenes optimizing its search engine. For Google, it’s not so much about the results any given search yields but more about whether Googlers get the results they were searching for, and the ease of use of those results. Anyone who has spent time “Googling” over the past decade can see that search results have evolved. Along the way, they innovated the PageRank, where a search delivers the resulting pages, ranked according to those with the largest number of web pages linked to them. Google also created the “snippet.”
While a snippet may seem like a cute and fun thing, from Google’s viewpoint it is actually quite complicated. Whenever someone searches on a given topic, the “engine” searches through the pages in a web site to assemble a relevant snippet of how the search term appeared – in milliseconds. And it handles hundreds of millions of searches daily. If you’re in Minnesota and you Google “State Fair,” the top ranking result will your state’s fair site, plus a Google map showing the location. Other near top ranking results will be for other states fairs plus newsmaking events at your state fair. At the bottom of the page you’ll have the opportunity to refine your search in case you were looking for “State Fair,” the musical.
All of this in the interest of providing the best customer experience because the search feature brings in more than 90 percent of Google’s revenue. Consequently, engineers at Google may be working on their Android phones or Google News or improving Gmail, but they also track everything from the sorts of search terms users enter to the way the human eyes move across a web page. They’re also constantly tweaking, adding such options as clickable links for broad topics. Google a news media site, any news site, and you’ll instantly have the opportunity to click to Sports, Weather, Opinions and the like. It’s easy to take all those things for granted because the Google people make it seem so effortless.
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