About Google, its history, various Google features and products and how Google search works

Google and Google Search Basics

Google Search Basics:

What is Google?:

Google is primarily a web search based US company that offers several other services and products such as web browser, blogs, email services, social networking services, several cloud services, servers, domain registration, mobile and web applications, mobile operating system, digital advertising services, web analytics, maps, several tools for webmasters and businesses etc.

Google was stated as a Stanford student’s project in 1995/96 called Backrub which was a web search software based on the study of back-links. The founders of Google are Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google was incorporated in 1998 and today commands approx. 67% of the search market globally. Google is also one of the most valuable companies globally. The main revenue of Google comes from paid digital advertising on its websites (Adwords) and affiliate partner websites.

illustrative image of Google Search
illustrative image of Google Search

Structure of Google:

Google’s front-end consists of various websites – global, country specific websites such as google.com, google.co.in, google.de, google.co.uk etc and various sub-domains for specific services. The back-end consists of a large well connected infrastructure of servers / data centres across the globe. Further, there are special programs called Crawlers that browse the world wide web and access and store accessible information and data on various webservers / webpages including data contained inside such webpages.

Snapshots of such webpages are then stored on Google’s servers and these snapshots are indexed based on various keywords, some Ontological context and certain other Google secret parameters. All data is stored on Google’s servers in Google’s own distributed file system called GFS (Google File System).

How Google Works?:

Each time a search request is made by the user on a Google website or search bar, a search query is created and fired by Google’s search program. Google uses its Search Algorithms to retrieve the most specific search results from its servers to be presented to the user’s web browser. The results are displayed on a webpage that is called SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Among several parameters used by Google to rank pages on the search results page is a program called Page Rank named after one of the founders Larry Page. The Page Rank was the first program used by Google to rank search results and it relies on the number and quality of back-links that lead to a certain website to decide on the importance of that website / webpage. Some of the other known factors that are considered by Google to rank search results are – age of the domain name, frequency of updates to the webpage, quality of content on the page, originality of page content, relevance of the page’s context to the search query, number of times searched terms appear on the page, the linkages with social media websites and quality of such social media pages etc.

Google’s Algorithms:

There have been several past versions of Google’s Core Search algorithms such as Page Rank, Caffeine, Panda, Penguin. The current Core Google Search Algorithm is called Hummingbird. The Hummingbird update was launched around beginning of September / end of August 2014. The main aspects of the Hummingbird Search algorithm are:

  1. The quality of web content
  2. The originality of web content
  3. The contextual reference of web content
  4. The quality of Social media connections

Google’s Algorithm Update Calendar:

Google’s Algorithm update history is available on several websites such as:  http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change, http://www.bronco.co.uk/google-updates-calendar.html  and many other web resources.