How Google Works – A background for working on SEO

At a Managing Directors’ Group meeting once, we heard how one member had completely reengineered his business from direct mail to web and the role of Google Searches (SEO) in that.

Just by chance I have today come across “Challenges in running a commercial search engine” a presentation by a Google guy in 2004 in which he explains (at a high level of course) how Google works, why and how they are continually battling against ‘evil’ forces that try by artificial means to get the search engines to show sites that aren’t what you really want.  It confirms really what we were told at the MD2MD meeting – don’t try to trick Google; simply apply common sense and make your site valuable to a reader and Google will be able to separate you from the spam sites.

There’s a lot more in the paper than that and even today I found it a really interesting, relevant and useful, primarily as an insight into the way Google thinks. I particularly liked the way he summarised what Google does “Finding needles in a 20 TB haystack, 200M times per day”.   I wonder how big the haystack is now and how many times they search it now?  Does anyone know?

Written by Bob Bradley, founder of MD2MD.