How does Google work? A brief insightful guide.

There’s no doubt that search engine’s play a vital role in how customers and fans find and access your website. Google is the daddy of all the search engine’s. But just how does Google display your website?

by | 01st May 2015

How crucial is Google to the digital marketing industry? Well, it’s pretty much everything right now. I’m sure you’ve heard many people comment:

“If you’re not on the first page on Google, you don’t exist!”

And to many brands and businesses, that comment probably rings true. Every market is highly competitive and getting vital pentration on the world’s number 1 search engine is vital. But exactly how does Google work? And how can I understand it to get more success?

At Nephew Media, we utilise WordPress SEO by Yoast to help deliver better performance for our clients. The talented guys at Yoast have compiled a basic overview of how Google works:


Most of you are probably already familiar with the basics of SEO. For those who aren’t (or want to refresh their memory), we’re going to explain these very basics again: how does Google actually find your site?


Search engines like Google (as well as Bing and Yahoo) follow links. They follows links from one web page to another web page. A search engine like Google consists of a crawler, an index and an algorithm. A crawler follows links on the web. It constantly scans the internet 24/7/365 and saves the HTML-version of a page in a gigantic database, called the index.

The index is updated if Google scans your website and finds a new or revised version of it. Depending on the amount of traffic to your site and the amount of changes you make on it, Google will scan your site more or less often. For Google to know of the existence of your website, there first has to be a link from another site to your site. Following that link will lead to the first crawler-session and the first save in the index.


After your website is indexed, Google will then display your website in it’s search results.

Google has a very specific and complex algorithm that decides which pages are shown and in which order. How this algorithm works is a well guarded secret. Nobody knows exactly which factors decide the ordering of the search results. Additionally, the algorithm factors and their importance change very often, meaning that no SEO expert can explicitly state whether a particular strategy will work 100%. In fact, only testing and experimenting gives us a relatively good feel for the important factors, the changes in these factors and how well they affect your site’s performance. However, it’s generally accepted that Google will display the most relevant, speedy and popular webpages that match your keyword.


Google’s results page shows up to 10 links to sites which best fit your keyword. We refer to these results as the organic search results. If you click to the second page, more results are shown. Above and to the right of these 10 blue links are multitple ‘paid’ links. They don’t always appear, but they are very common. These links are advertisements; people have paid Google (through the Google AdWords service) to put these links at the top of the site when people search for a specific term. Prices for these ads vary greatly, depending on the competitiveness of the search term.

So that’s it. A very brief but insightful overview of how Google ranks webpages. It’s very important to have a basic understanding of how Google and most other search engines use links to help improve your exposure on the web.

Planning and strategising your website optimisation to utilise search engine’s is vital to improve your online exposure. Nephew Media can help you with that. Interested? Get in touch.

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