Google has launched a new website, which includes an interactive infographic, called How Search Works. The site offers a visual description of the search, indexing and spam control process as well as resources like search engine optimisation tips, information on algorithms and information on fighting spam. The other release by Google, a document called Search Quality Rating Guidelines, includes detailed information on how the company assigns ranking to websites and what it flags as spam.
How Search Works
The infographic takes a user through the search process as he scrolls through the website. The process is divided into three different steps: crawling and indexing, algorithms and fighting spam. Each of these steps is clearly defined and visually explained.
Indexing and Search Results
A few things of note include just how many factors are used in determining a page’s rank: more than 200. A section of the infographic details the many search result forms Google provides: Knowledge Graph, Snippets, News, Answers, Videos, Images, Refinements, Voice Search and Mobile.Image source
Another helpful bit of information for digital marketers is Google’s list of the types of spam it fights:
- Pure spam
- Unnatural links from a site
- Hidden text and keyword stuffing
- User-generated spam
- Parked domains
- Thin content with little or no added value
The definitions of these categories can be found on the How Search Works website, which also warns marketers that these types of spam are often not included in results and even removed from the index. You can see examples of sites recently removed on the Google website.
The infographic explains that Google attempts to contact site owners when their website is deemed spam. A site owner can fix her site and then ask Google to rank it again.
Understanding how Google ranks content and what types of content it marks as spam can help you as develop and use SEO, digital marketing and content marketing plans at your business.
Search Quality Rating Guidelines
Google released its document called Search Quality Rating Guidelines at the same time as the new website and it’s the first time the document has been officially released rather than leaked.
This document is an extremely useful resource for marketers as it outlines how search works, how Google rates content, what is classifies as spam and so much more. The document is 43 pages long and includes query examples, tables and screenshots that can help site owners understand what is involved in page rankings.
Both of these new resources can help marketers better understand SEO and how Google works. Understanding these concepts and making sure your digital marketing plans reflect them can help you be more successful.
In the SEO industry, there are many experts that have their own theories and beliefs on how Google works and how a company can earn high rankings. However, having that information directly from Google takes some of the mystery out of page ranking and SEO.