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  • Writer's pictureThe Digital Chimp

How Google Search Works

If there was ever a time when you need to have your finger on the pulse to get the most out of your campaigns, that time is now.

Google have just announced that in 2020 they made 4,500 updates to Google Search. As search is a very complex function, these changes can be ranking changes, user interface changes and many others. By comparison, in 2019, Google made just over 3000 changes, and back in 2009 Google said they made about 350-400 changes.

You can read more about the ins and outs of how search works here

With such vast amounts of information available, finding what you need would be nearly impossible without some help sorting through it. Google’s ranking systems are designed to do just that: sort through hundreds of billions of web pages and other content in the Search index to present the most relevant, useful results in a fraction of a second.

When running Google Search campaigns for clients, there are five main factors that we need to consider when creating your ad campaigns.

Meaning of your query

To return relevant results, Google needs to establish what the searcher is looking for – the intent behind the query. To do this, they build language models to try to decipher how the relatively few words that are entered into the search box match up to the most useful content available.

Relevance of content

Next, the systems analyse the content to assess whether it contains information that might be relevant to what people are looking for.

The most basic signal that information is relevant is when content contains the same keywords as the search query. For example, with web pages, if those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information might be more relevant.

Quality of content

After identifying relevant content, Google's systems aim to prioritise those that seem most helpful by determining which content demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

For example, one of several factors that is used to help determine this is understanding if other prominent websites link or refer to the content. This has often proven to be a good sign that the information is well trusted.

Usability of web pages

The systems also consider the usability of content. Content that people will find more accessible and easy-to-use may perform better.

For example, the systems would look at page experience aspects, such as if content is mobile-friendly, so that those on mobile devices can easily view it. Similarly, they look to see if content loads quickly, also important to mobile users.

Context and settings

Information such as your location, past Search history and Search settings all help Google to ensure that your results are what is most useful and relevant for you in that moment.

They use your country and location to deliver content relevant for your area. For instance, if you’re in Chicago and you search 'football', Google will most likely show you results about American football and the Chicago Bears first. Whereas if you search 'football' in London, Google will show results about football and the Premier League.

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