How Does Google Search Work?

Google Search commands a lead in the search engine space thanks to innovative advancements and technologies that the parent company has polished and updated over the years. It is now industry standard for search engines to present millions or even billions of results in just a few milliseconds. And as Google established in a few of its experiments, the faster the platform displays the results, the more searches users will do. But have you ever wondered how Google achieves this feat for its posse of billions of users? Let’s find out.

Google’s internal functionality

Google gets you the results that you want and needs because of a process referred to as crawling. This process makes use of a tool referred to as a web crawler, also referred to simply as a crawler or a spider bot. But what is a web crawler? You may ask.

According to Oxylabs, a web crawler is a bot that goes through the world wide web, searching and indexing content for easier identification and retrieval. It is a powerful tool that discovers new web pages and helps the search engine understand what is contained therein. When an inquiry is made on the search engine, the data stored through indexing can be easily retrieved.

But just how are pages identified in the first place? How does Google know what to pick and what not to pick?

Googlebot crawling criteria

Googlebot undertakes the crawling aspect of Google search. It operates using three main rules. For starters, it crawls only publicly accessible pages. If a page requires logging in to be accessed, then the Googlebot will skip over it.

Secondly, the Googlebot skips pages whose URL has been included in the robots.txt file’s list of pages that should not be accessed. Lastly, any page that has been previously crawled is considered a duplicate. As such, the bot will skip over it or crawl less frequently.

Process of indexing on Google

Indexing on Google is a six-step process that begins with creating a crawl queue. This entails identifying URLs that qualify for crawling and readying them up for the crawling process. Next, the crawler starts crawling – it sends HTTP requests to the URL whose turn it is to be crawled. When the webserver sends an HTML response, the spider parses this data to identify new links that it adds to the crawl queue.

In instances where a website uses JavaScript, the crawler processes the page. It queues such pages and uses a Chromium headless browser to render/execute the pages. Next, the crawler parses the pages for new links that it then adds to the queue. Finally, the spider indexes the data.

Typically, a page can stay on a queue for a few seconds, although it can take longer than that, depending on the evaluated pages and the processed data.

How to ensure your website is crawlable by Googlebot?

Firstly, make your page content human-readable and straightforward. Also, integrate logical URL paths, offer direct internal links within the website (as links give Googlebot the impression that the content is authoritative), and upload quality content that will lead to inbound links.

Secondly, you can use third-party platforms to view your crawl and index coverage. With insights gathered, you will identify what changes need to be made for your website to achieve better results and rank higher on search engines.

Also, ensure that Google has access to your website or a specific page of interest. Do not include pages that should be crawled on the robots.txt file, and neither should you hide them behind a login page.

Serving Content

Importantly, you also need to tailor how Google serves/presents your page’s content. One way to do this is to make sure your page loads fast and is mobile-friendly. In 2021, over 61% of organic search engine visits were on mobile devices. It, therefore, only makes sense to make your website mobile-friendly and have a seamless experience that cuts across devices.

We also recommend focusing on your content and satisfying what your users actually want. It is easy to get caught up in the race, trying to learn what’s new with Google and trying to implement what you have learned. But, at the end of the day, if you keep creating content that users like.

Conclusion

Sometimes, understanding what goes on behind the scenes can make a massive difference between executing a successful or failed plan. This is true with Google. Knowing what is a web crawler can help shape your search engine marketing strategy and give you an edge over your competition.

Google, and the internet in general, is evolving fast. So, while these recommendations might apply now, that might not be the case in the future. As such, it is good to stay informed and in touch with the changes. Just don’t get caught up in this race and forget to work on what’s essential content that users want.