Why Googling ‘idiot’ turns up pictures of Trump- How Google’s Search Engine works?

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how search engine works

Google CEO Sundar Pichai was recently questioned about the working of Google’s Search Engine. Because the search results for the term, “IDIOT” returns images of Donald Trump. Now, why does this happen? Are the Google results politically biased? To clear the matter, let us dive deep into the facts of how Google’s Search Engine Works.

Speaking in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Pichai explained that the company does not “manually intervene” in search results, rather search results are based on crawling the content of web pages.

“Any time you type in a keyword, as Google have gone out and crawled and stored copies of a numerous number of pages in our index. And we take the keyword, match it against their pages, and rank them based on over 200 signals — things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it. And based on that, at any time, we rank and find the best search results for that query”, he added.

Google is one of the most powerful search engines tools. Without Google, one would practically find it impossible to search the information you need while you browse the Web. Like all search engines, Google uses a particular algorithm to generate search results that keep changing from time to time. While Google opens up about the general facts about its algorithm, the specifics are kept as company secret. This helps the search engine giant to remain competitive with other search engines on the Internet and reduces the chance of someone finding out how to abuse the system.

Google uses automated programs called spider bots or crawlers. Just like other search engines, Google has a large index of keywords where the keywords can be found. The fact that sets Google apart from its competitors is how it ranks search results, which in turn decides the order of Google displays results on its search engine results page (SERP). Google uses a unique algorithm called PageRank, which assigns each Web page a relevancy score.

A Web page’s PageRank depends on the below factors:

1) The frequency and location of keywords within the Web page: If the keyword only appears fewer times within the body of a page, it will receive a low score for that keyword.

2) The life age of the Web page: People upload a number of Web pages every day, but not all of them stick around for long. Google ranks pages with an established history in higher positions.

3) The number of Web pages that link to the page to be ranked: Google checks on at how many web pages link to the particular site to determine its relevance.

Out of these three factors, the third is the most important.

The working of Search Engine

Since Google looks at the links to a Web page as an upvote, it is not easy to cheat the process. The content is the next best way to make sure your Web page is high up on Google’s search results so that people will link back to your page. The more links your webpage gets, the higher its PageRank score will be. If you attract the attention of pages with a higher PageRank score, indirectly your page score would also increase.

Google, like other Search engines, works on an Algorithm. They have bots or Crawlers, Spiders. Over the period the search engines have emerged smarter.

Now let us give a simple definition for search engine and how we get the results on typing the keywords on the search engine.

Search Engine is basically an Algorithm/Program that searches databases and internet sites for the documents containing keywords specified by a user.

Google’s search engine working involves three important steps.

Crawling

Indexing

Serving

Let us brief each step:

  1. Crawling:

It is the process performed by a search engine crawler when searching for relevant websites on the index. They are used to extract the relevant searched information from the various websites based on different criterion. Crawlers crawl through the web pages and follow links on those pages. They go from link to link and bring data about those web pages back to servers.

When Crawlers comes on the page, they leave a date and time on the page to note their visited date. This concept is called Cache Date. One can check the last time crawler visited our site. For that, you just need to type “cache:Your Url” and hit enter. The Cache page will show the cache date and time of the Snapshot

  1. Indexing:

It is the process of creating an index for all the fetched web pages and keeping them into a giant database from where it can be retrieved later. Snapshots taken by the crawler are saved into the database and this is used to show the page result on the SERP.

If you have updated the page but the Indexing is not done then, Google will show an old version of the search result.

  1. Processing Result:

It is the most complex process of all. Search Engine has a database of numerous numbers of pages on the internet. Each page is talking about different queries or Keywords. Algorithms decide as to which page ranks first, second, third and so on, on the SERP. For this search engines will consider multiple factors and serve the result to the user.

Therefore, when the user types the query in the search box, the corresponding algorithm triggers and tries to find the most relevant pages. After this process, we get the processed search results based on ranking.

The most interesting point to notice is that the whole process requires just a fraction of seconds to complete.

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