By Jason Venter | 03-03-2013 | 6:00AM
In a blog post released Friday, Google reminded readers of that one time it showed how email travels from one computer to another and then announced a sequel of sorts in the form of a web presentation called How Search Works.
“Here you can follow the entire life of a search query, from the web, to crawling and indexing, to algorithmic ranking and serving, to fighting webspam,” wrote Jake Hubert, Product Manager. “The site complements existing resources, including the blog, the help center, user forums, Webmaster Tools, and in-depth research papers.”
If you visit the site, you’ll be able to scroll down through a page that offers a graphical explanation of the process. There’s also a slideshow that lets you see how spam is removed, along with graphs and other information about what might trigger content removal. It’s interesting stuff for the casual user who might not have stopped to consider just how much effort goes toward ensuring that search results remain relevant, but none of it should surprise webmasters and SEO experts who rely heavily on significant traffic as a means of securing revenue.
You can enjoy the presentation for yourself in just a minute or two, but some highlights worth noting include a reference to the more than 30 trillion individual pages that currently make up the Internet, as well as mention of the fact that the index Google uses right now is more than 100 million gigabytes in size. The algorithm that determines what content displays most prominently consists of more than 200 factors which are constantly changing.
A large section of the presentation is appropriately devoted to the efforts Google takes to combat spam. You can click a link in the presentation to see numerous examples of content that has been removed from the index automatically, along with explanations.
“These pages are examples of ‘pure spam,’” the slideshow notes. “They appear to use aggressive spam techniques such as automatically generated gibberish, cloaking and scraping content from other websites.”
When you reach the bottom of the tour, you’ll also find a script that lets you know approximately how many searches were performed during the brief amount of time you spent enjoying your crash course in search results.