Don Charisma Google

How Google Search Really Works – Don Charisma

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 :

Crap 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)

Awesome Content

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.


(c) & 2014

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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.

Warm regards

Don Charisma

Resources & Sources

Student In Library – morgueFile

American Idol Stage – Wikipedia (CC)

Notes for commenters:

Don Charisma Warning Improvised Writing

Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button. 

Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.

I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.

Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.

Warm regards, Don Charisma

32 thoughts on “How Google Search Really Works – Don Charisma

  1. Thank you Heather and Don,

    Good Start !!! I really appreciated the way that you guys have demonstrated. I do work for different optimisation techniques and go through different blogs. The uniqueness I have found on you is that you guys started from a very basic terms and initial phase so that a layman may be interested on what SEO is. Good Luck and keep it up.

    You can visit us at : for any queries regards to marketing policies, website design, Event Managing, Pamphlets design etc. We support across the globe in multiple languages such as English, Japanese.



  2. Great article. Loved the analogies which really boiled Google down to terms my feeble brain can understand.

    There’s just one thing…

    I’ve always wanted to know how to spin plates (it’s a secret passion for me). Now, I could go on Google and do a search for “How to spin plates” and get my result. However, now that I know you can spin plates, my secret passion has been upgraded to “How to spin plates with charisma”. I’d really like to see an article from you on the subject. I mean. if you can’t spin plates with charisma, what’s the use of spinning plates?

    BTW_so I just typed “How to spin plates with charisma” into Google and the first page has 2 reviews of a food movie called “Spinning Plates”, articles about being charismatic, an article about spinning plates (but not charismatically) and an SEO article written by you from 03/14/2014 in which you mention plate spinning which is a great illustration demonstrating what you’ve discussed in this article.

    Looking forward to Heather’s post. I’m still learning this SEO/Search Engine stuff and it’s articles like this that help clarify the subject for me.

    Best Regards,

    1. LOL, thanks Eric, you are thoughtful as ever and read and understood … I’m shifting more to creative writing so perhaps for my next feat of brilliance I’ll do “How to spin plates with Charisma” … thanks for encouragement, means a lot to me 😀

      Warm regards


  3. This was a great article, Don. I really liked the use of the analogies as a way of getting your point across as well as the humorous tone you used for the piece. I’m now off to study in further detail your article in preparation for my first assignment!

      1. I’ve got your email and am beavering away at research as we speak 🙂

  4. Thanks for this info. Your clever & amusing analogies were very effective! I appreciate your presenting both yours & Heather’s articles; each has value & are helpful to someone like me who really needs to understand what I should be aiming for when I post.

    1. You’re very welcome, and yes I enjoyed writing mine, and heather’s just smooth from start to finish, lovely writing too … so double whammy !

  5. Completely off topic. I Googled myself and found that I live in four different cities with 6 children and 3 husbands and I work at McDonald’s. I’m the manager though so that’s a plus.

  6. Putin says that Google is selling information… That’s one way to run the world, I suppose. Great, straight-forward, no nonsense article Don!

    1. Thanks my friend … and yes Google is selling information, information is a valuable commodity, Anthony Robbins been saying that for years …

      Hope all is well didn’t hear for a while … i missed you !

  7. I really loved the analogy! It’s explained in layman’s terms, which is appealing to non-technical people.

    I also think that an eye catching title is a must when it comes to Google searches. You want your title to reel people in to click on the link Google provides. If the title isn’t attention grabbing, it’s more likely to be ignored by a Google searcher.

    On that same note, you want your key word(s) in the title, as well as the first 100 words of your post.

    I’m really looking forward to reading Heather’s take on this!

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