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July 10, 2008

Google Share Their Ranking Philosophy

In an official post on the Google Blog called Introduction to Google Ranking, Amit Singhal, Google Fellow in charge of the ranking team, has revealed some fascinating insights into the way Google search results are collated and ranked. In the process, he’s also busted a few common myths surrounding their elusive algorithm.

Here are some of the tidbits from Amit’s post that I found most interesting:

  • While web search is the most used Google search service, the same ranking algorithms are also used, with modifications, for other Google search services, including Images, News, YouTube, Maps, Product Search and Book Search.
  • Amit claims there is no manual intervention of search results, meaning that the final ordering of the results is decided by their algorithms using the contributions of the greater Internet community, not manually by Google.
  • Whenever Google return less than ideal results for any query in any language in any country, they use that as an inspiration for future improvements. In Google’s opinion, a broken query is just a symptom of a potential improvement to be made to their ranking algorithm.
  • Google make about ten ranking changes every week and their engineers understand exactly why a page was ranked the way it was for a given query.
  • Google stand by their clear written policies for websites and do take action on sites that are in violation of those policies or for other reasons (e.g. legal requirements, child porn, viruses/malware, etc).