How SEO Providers Can Use Google’s How Search Works
Google knows that some people still don’t understand how their search engine works. Even a lot of SEO experts don’t fully understand all of the ins and outs to Google’s highly sophisticated algorithm (not that it stops us from trying). Thankfully, Google has acknowledged that audience last week by putting out an infographic called How Search Works. The primary aim of the infographic, Google says, is to help fight spam, by creating a better understanding of what they regard as spam in the first place.
Even in a more enlightened age of Web development, some webmasters and black hat SEO providers are still producing spam. They prey on the unsuspecting business owner by promising to “beat the algorithm” and give them first page search results on Google. If the business owner doesn’t know what an algorithm is, much less understand other finer points of search engine optimization, then that tactic could easily work. With that in mind, here are some of the facts Google’s Matt Cutts used to combat that bad information on the How Search Works feature.
- When you do a Web search, you aren’t actually searching the Web. You’re searching Google’s index of the Web. We do this with software programs called spiders.
- Google searches the Web by ‘crawling.’ That means we follow links from page to page.
- Some of the factors involved in giving a page rank include asking, ‘Is this page from a quality source?’
- Google does not ever accept payment to add a site to their index, update it more often or improve its ranking.
One thing that makes the Google How Search Works feature worth looking at is its very in-depth explanation of spam. “Spam sites attempt to game their way to the top of search results through techniques like repeating keywords over and over,” the text reads, “buying links that pass PageRank or putting invisible text on the screen. This is bad for search because relevant websites get buried, and it’s bad for legitimate website owners because their sites become harder to find.”
For those who are unsure about the definition of spam, this is a nice clarification. Then, there is an assurance that Google always knows what spam is. “The good news is that Google’s algorithms can detect the vast majority of spam and demote it automatically,” it says. “For the rest, we have teams who manually review sites.”
Finally, Google also helps readers of the infographic learn how they can detect spam on their own. “Spam sites come in all shapes and sizes,” it says. “Some sites are automatically-generated gibberish that no human could make sense of. Of course, we also see sites using subtler spam techniques.” It then provides examples of “pure spam,” via a series of live spam screenshots found by the manual spam search team (with an assurance that those pages no longer appear in search results).
Although seasoned SEO providers may not need to digest the entire feature, it can be a great tool to help businesses owners understand a little bit about how SEO works. It is also useful for learning more about white hat vs. black hat SEO. Take a look at How Search Works; there’s a good chance that you may learn something new.