Google, they are the big boys in searching for stuff on the internet. But who and what are they really ?
To put it simply Google’s search is an artificial intelligence engine. That’s right like a computer that thinks like a human being.
The other thing is that almost nobody in the world knows how it actually works. It’s a “black box” and a very closely guarded secret. So it’s impossible to write an article stating EXACTLY how it works, because only a few people at Google actually know that. So for me there’s two ways that help me think of Google, in layman’s terms :
1. A massive team of librarians, that are aware of virtually every web page on the internet – “The Librarians”
2. A talent contest similar to “American Idol” in USA or “Pop Idol” in the UK – “The Talent Contest”
1. Google The Librarians
Google’s servers are running 24/7 “spidering” the internet, indexing and cataloguing pretty much everything they are aware of.
Enter a searcher, he wants to find articles on “the indigenous peoples Catatonia (the place)”. Bang into the Google search box he puts it. Split seconds later the little Google librarians have rushed around and found every conceivable web page ever written that looks like it might match. Then they’ve quickly sorted them into the ones that they think are the best match, show them first. The searcher doesn’t know any of this, he just wants his information. So our searcher tries the first one offered by Google, no that’s about another Catatonia in Asia, it’s the European one he wants. Ah, this one looks promising, click, bang he’s on the page reading to his hearts content for an hour. Librarian’s job (Google) is done.
Google don’t care who writes the content, they just want to get the searcher off their search engine as quickly as possible onto an article/post/page/photo/whatever (content) that satisfies the searchers question/search. That’s it – the same as a librarian wants to tell the book worm where to find “Fly fishing by RJ Hartley”, and doesn’t want to have a 45 minute chat about politics, the weather or Miley Cyrus’s latest antics. Why ? There’s 15 more other people waiting in the queue who want to know where they can find books to feed their inner book worm.
The librarian’s job is to quickly tell the book worm where the book is that they want, that’s it. The Librarian doesn’t want the book worm coming back and asking the same question. Why ? Eventually they’ll get pissed off and use another library, and another library here means a different search engine, ie Yahoo, Bing, Yandex or whereever, not Google. Therefore Google must serve accurate results or they’d lose their searchers in a flash.
2. Google The Talent Contest
Now this is from the perspective of the person who writes the pages (content) of the internet, let’s call him “Wannabe”. He wants Google to show his pages and get the trillions of users that Google has to visit him, to click on his pages and stay on his site.
So really in all honesty it’s a bit like the “Idol” shows. Little Louis, Simon Coward and Paula Abdul, sitting at a big desk, all cool and hip-judge like. The conversation goes a little like this :
Idol hosts : “OK enter Mr Wannabe web page writer, what will you perform for us today ?”
Wannabe : “Oh hello Idol hosts, I’d like to do for you today an article on Miley Cyrus”
Idol hosts : “Go on then show us what you can do …”
Now this can either go one of two ways crap content or awesome content :
Wannabe : “I love Miley Cyrus she’s so pretty and playful. The end”
Idol hosts : “Close the door behind you, that was absolutely useless, pathetic and pointless” (Simon Coward laughs uncontrollably)
Wannabe : “Miley Cyrus became popular as a child actress for Disney. Born in 19XX … (and so on for another 1000 words, with photos, compelling super-duper content, recent “achievements” etc, ie compelling interesting content that makes you want to see/read the whole thing )”
Idol hosts : “I really like the way that you told us all that really interesting and informative stuff about Miley, wow that was superb, you’re through to the next round”
So to relate that back to what actually happens on Google :
1. Wannabe publishes a page, it’s then indexed by Google
2. A searcher searches for “Miley Cyrus”, and Google’s “Idol hosts” give’s Wannbe a chance, they show his result
3. If Google show Wannbe’s result and people click on it and stay on the page, then Google send more traffic. (This is based on the percentage of people that are shown the result that click through and whether or not these people stay on the page, essentially)
4. If Google show Wannbe’s result and it isn’t clicked on then Google will rapidly stop showing the result. Crap content.
MY POINT – Compelling content, that get’s clicked on and the searcher stays on the content page is exactly like a talent contest. It’s what’s most important in getting Google to send traffic, and keep sending traffic – Content that people actually want to read and see, not spam or crap 🙂
I’ve given layman’s terms explanations of how Google “really” works. First “The Librarian” where we can think of Google as a team of librarians working in the world’s largest library. This is how the searcher sees Google.
Second, the other way to see Google is the “Talent Contest”, the process by which Google decides on which pages to serve in their results. This is how the content producer/publisher sees Google.
BY DON CHARISMA
(c) DonCharisma.org & DonCharisma.com 2014
For commercial enquiries including SEO services contact us at DonCharisma.com
Note : I’ve written this article to demonstrate for our intern Heather B Costa, roughly how I would approach the first article that she was given. My aim with this article is more towards the blog audience, rather than for technical SEO, so I’ve added interesting analogies, so as the reader may get something new from the article, perhaps some humour. As opposed to dry explanation of “meta tags” etc.
It’s not really designed to be a “serious” technical article, nor a competitive attempt to “one up” Heather’s article … Also I’ve written this quite quickly, as I’m spinning plates today !
Coming up – Our Intern Heather B Costa’s version of this article, written for the same title.
Resources & Sources
Student In Library – morgueFile
American Idol Stage – Wikipedia (CC)
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