It’s a bit strange to Google the words “how Google works.” Kind of like going into a really nice restaurant and asking the chef, “how did you prepare that delicious meal?” Though Google won’t likely share all of the details it is in their best interest to share some.
After all, their search results depend on finding everything on the internet. No small task indeed. Google doesn’t just miraculously find every computer in every corner of the world and somehow know what is sitting on the hard drive.
Without getting too complicated, think of the internet as a really big book. If you want to find something in the book you usually have an index or table of contents of sorts to “search” right? Well Google sort of needs the same.
Which is where you and I come in. We need to not just build our websites, but also build a table of contents. And then share that table of contents with Google.
To accomplish this there are a few key terms to keep in mind (all courtesy of Google).
Crawling is the process by which “Googlebot” discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index.
We use a huge set of computers to fetch (or “crawl”) billions of pages on the web. The program that does the fetching is called Googlebot (also known as a robot, bot, or spider).
Googlebot processes each of the pages it crawls in order to compile a massive index of all the words it sees and their location on each page.
When a user enters a query, our machines search the index for matching pages and return the results we believe are the most relevant to the user. Relevancy is determined by over 200 factors, one of which is the page rank for a given page.