Google’s constantly updating algorithm

Since Google’s results affects so many businesses – and kept so secret; it is always useful to hear how their improvements come about. As many businesses know, a simple change can dramatically affect visitors and customers, and without almost no notice.

Possibly surprisingly, around 500 changes a year were made to Google’s algorithms last year, that’s nearly two every day. The process is very logical, but interesting none-the-less:

  • Firstly, Google team members find sets of “motivating searches” which could be improved.
  • Google Engineers are then tasked to identify the ‘signals’ which could be better used as results.
  • These new results are first put to ‘raiders’, not employees of Google, but are trained at comparisons of search results based from one query.
  • These results are put to a small number of users – live experiments, given to users running in ‘sandboxes‘.
  • Around 20,000 of these experiments were run last year.
  • One analyst, and many engineers then meet to have an unbiased look at the changes and how well it is performing.
  • The proposed change is finally presented to the Google search quality team. If it’s an improvement, it’s launched!

The video also features an anecdote about the spelling correction change from “Did you mean …” to “Showing results for …, Search instead for …”. As someone who this change has frustrated a lot, it’s good to hear that this is only used when 50 other people haven’t wanted their original spelling.

You can find this video on Google’s blog or below;

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