According to the Internet research firm Netcraft, there are nearly 150,000,000 active Web sites on the Internet today. The task of sifting through all those sites to find helpful information is monumental. That’s why search engines use complex algorithms — mathematical instructions that tell computers how to complete assigned tasks.
For a typical query, there are thousands, if not millions, of webpages with helpful information. Algorithms are the computer processes and formulas that take your questions and turn them into answers. Today Google’s algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or “clues” that make it possible to guess what you might really be looking for. These signals include things like the terms on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank.
Google’s goal is to get you to the answer you’re looking for faster, creating a nearly seamless connection between you and the knowledge you seek. If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of how search has evolved, this Google video highlights some important features like universal results and quick answers.
For more in-depth information I refer to “Google Inside Search“: CLICK HERE