How Does the Google Search Algorithm Work?

Have you ever stopped to wonder about how the phenomenon that is Google Search actually functions? There’s no need to go ahead and Google that because we are going to lay it all on the table for you right now. In this (hopefully) informative post, take a look at the inner workings of Google’s Algorithm.

“We’re living at a time when attention is the new currency. Those who insert themselves into as many channels as possible look set to capture the most value.”  
– Pete Cashmore

Do you want more information about a topic? “Google it”.

This is basically the norm these days. Everyone uses Google’s Search function to search and find information on places, products, people, and anything under the sun.

In short, Google has become a dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, encyclopedia, route navigator, handbook, and everything else, all rolled into one! Using Google Search, there is very little that cannot be found.

Have you ever wondered how the phenomenon of Google Search works? No need to go Google that, because we at are going to explain it for you. Let’s take a look.

What is the Google Search Algorithm?

The Google Search Algorithm is a set of code used to search and find the content you look for online.  Currently, ‘Page Rank’ is the name of the algorithm used by Google for its search, and it is named after one of its founders, Larry Page. Coincidentally, each new document of a website is also called a page. Google changes its algorithm frequently to enhance the efficiency of its search.

How Does Google’s Search Algorithm Work?

This is the million dollar question.

Let’s be honest here. No one knows exactly how Google Search works. Google works in mysterious ways. It is a supremely complex system and only top-level executives at Google has complete 100% knowledge on the subject.

However, based on our SEO and SEM work with clients, research and knowledge, what other experts have said, algorithm updates, and news straight from Google’s mouth, we are able to form a picture.

Let’s break down the Search Algorithm into steps so we can get a better understanding of it.

“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.”  
– Wendy Piersall

Step 1: Analyzing Your Search Query

To start with, Google’s powerful algorithm analyzes the words in the search query from the user’s perspective.

Google was hardly the first search engine in town, and there were 10-15 other engines that came before it. The world’s first search engine, Archie, was developed in 1990, a full 8 years before Google was even made public.

How did Google manage to dominate the market where all the others fell short? Because of their algorithm and ability to provide the best results to users.

This Google algorithm checks the search query for content, spelling mistakes, intent (Jaguar the car brand vs. jaguar the animal, and a host of other factors. Your past search history and browsing history is also considered. Then, it uses a program called Synonym Search to narrow down your search results by 30%.

Step 2: Crawling and Indexing

Next, the Google Search Algorithm looks for terms that match your query in its Search Index and their corresponding web pages where the content can be found. This is done by a process called ‘crawling’.

Crawling is done using automated programs called ‘spiders’ or crawlers and the ‘Search Index’.

The ‘Search Index’ has a list of page URLs generated from previous searches for similar terms.

A ‘spider’ is an arachnid, but also a small bot that follows these page URLs to search for the matching content.

How do spiders work?

Whenever a search query is generated, the spider scans the Search Index first. This avoids going through millions of pages and enables quick fetching of data.

This is how Google is able to display thousands of pages in a matter of seconds. Since the information accessed generates voluminous data, the spider only copes the links and dumps the rest of the page code like duplicate links or low valued links.

Spiders mainly look for links and keywords. So, if your content is not linked, it will not be indexed and crawled by the spider. Whenever the spider comes across a new domain, it crawls the entire domain first.

As the spider crawls from one page to another, it copies the links on these pages and adds them to the index for the new sites to be crawled. It also makes changes to the existing URLs as it does this.  As a result, the Search Index has the most updated URLs needed for your search.

Step 3: Ranking the Webpage

For every search query, the Google Search Algorithm delivers the list of only those pages it considers best.

There are many factors that play into this decision. Google uses a Web Relevancy Score base on at least 200 factors for ranking the website.

Factors like the frequency of occurrence of keywords and their location in the page, relevancy, and originality of content, number of pages linking to that webpage, and history of the webpage are crucial for ranking.

Google is the decider, but in a way, the users are as well as the more clicks and visits a page gets, the more relevant Google considers it. Google is essentially using us to rank pages on the internet!

Step 4: Efficient and Quick Search Results

Google uses many methodologies to ensure that its searches are quick and effective. Past history, page location, and search settings are all taken into account to deliver unique search results to each individual user and ensuring no two SERPs  (search engine result pages) are exactly the same.

Try it yourself and you will find that even just interchanging two terms will yield different results. This is how precise the algorithm is at evaluating your query. The efficiency of the Google Search algorithm is due to the way it ranks the website based on a million plus factors like relevance, amount of content, originality, link authority, domain age, credibility, the usability of the site, speed, etc.

Google also uses special algorithms to detect spam websites and removes them from the results. This ensures that it is hard to manipulate Google’s SERP. Again, Google has forced sites to follow the rules Granted, there are some gray hat and shady tactics, but we’ll get to that another day.

That’s How Google Search Works

The Google Search Algorithm is all about enhancing the user’s search experience and offering quick and relevant results.

Paying close attention to SEO trends, understanding the metrics of Google Search and adhering to the Webmaster guidelines can guarantee optimum use of the Google Search algorithm to get a higher ranking for your webpages and help them soar to the top.

This requires the expert hand of a digital marketing and sensational SEO service provider like We have a solid understanding of the remarkable wonder that is the Google Search Algorithm and will use it to the best of our ability for getting you a high ranking, improving your ROI, and generating leads and calls for your business!

“The beauty of SEO is that, instead of pushing a marketing message onto folks who don’t want to hear what you have to say, you can reverse-engineer the process to discover exactly what people are looking for, create the right content for it, and appear before them at exactly the moment they are looking for it. It’s pull vs. push.”  
– Cyrus Shepard