Matt Cutts has a particularly useful video today on how Google search works. The process of how Google crawls, indexes and ranks is useful to understand. At each step there are challenges for the search engines and for websites looking to maximise exposure. This is mostly a process video about how things work rather than what will make you rank but there is value in understanding this stuff.
In the video, Matt explains the process of how Google:
- Crawls the web
- Indexes those pages
- Ranks and serves results
He explains changes over time in the crawling process as well as the importance of PageRank for crawl priority. He goes on to give a broad outline of a crawling system favouring important (high PR) and fresh content.
Matt gives a basic explanation of an inverted index and a basic process for starting to select the documents relevant to any given query. He doesn’t go into great detail on how Google ranks results but then you wouldn’t expect him to.
Many people will watch this video and hear nothing but PageRank so I just wanted to pick a couple of things out here:
What Google is looking to find:
“Reputable documents that are also about what the user typed in”
The Secret Sauce
“Trying to figure out a way to combine those 200 ranking signals to find the most relevant document.”
I have very little time for SEOs who quote the 200 ranking signals thing as though we know all the answers and you can never figure them out. It’s really important though to understand that this is NOT all or even mostly about Page Rank. Yes Google is looking to serve sites and pages with reputation but it needs to be the most relevant document with reputation.
- Google Page Rank – It’s Well Past Time to Get Over it
- Earth Shattering Changes Coming to Google SERPs?