How Google works explained in a simple way



Today we’re dusting off my old logbook to start with the the basics of SEO, with the goal of helping anyone who is going through this journey for the first time or who needs to brush up on the operation of the search engine.

Imagine setting sail with your ship to go in search of treasure: if you know the destination it will be easy to get there. But what if you don’t know where to go?

There is the search engine! The kingdom of Google will propose you, according to the query typed, the most suitable destination to land in.

Let’s see then how Google works Explained in a simple way, even for the hubs of this ship!

SEO Dictionary

If I say Frigate or Galleon you know I’m referring to ships. It is indeed important to know the correct terms, so let’s stop for a moment to read and understand the meaning of each one.

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – encompasses the set of strategies designed to improve the visibility and ranking of a website among the organic, i.e. not paid, search engine results.
  • Optimization – in SEO means simplifying the job of reading to search engines and reducing the work of robots during site analysis.
  • Query – is the search or question made on Google by a user (for example, what is a frigate?).
  • Keywords – are the words you enter into Google to make the query.
  • Robot – also called spider, crawler or googlebot, is the search engine software responsible for checking each page of the site and copying its content (indexing).
  • SERP (Search Engine Result Page) – is nothing more than Google’s list of results that appears after entering a search term.
  • Index – in which Google stores all the web pages it knows about. Each entry in the index describes the contents and location (URL) of a page.

And now that we’ve learned a new language we can embark and get in on the action!

How the search engine works

Whenever you do a search on Google, the search engine performs a series of procedures to give you relevant and accurate answers:

  • crawling – analysis of pages found online by crawlers;
  • indexing – copying of useful material;
  • ranking – sorting by degree of relevance;
  • SERP – presentation of responses.

For all the buccaneers! What does this mean?

It means that in order to appear in search results, your site’s content must first be visible to search engines: if a site is not trackable by bots, there is no way to analyze and index it.


Imagine crawlers as a sloop, a small boat that wanders day and night looking for new ships that have sailed the digital sea just like your website.

Its job, in fact, is to find new and updated content such as a web page, an image, a video or a PDF. It detects them by following links to pages that have already been crawled, reading sitemaps and resorting to many other means.

However, even Google bots get tired, that’s why there is the crawl budget: a budget that they have available to scan the pages of our site. Precisely because they can’t spend too many resources on crawling, the goal of a good SEO is to make sure that the crawlers scan the most important pages first, omitting useless pages.

To indicate to crawlers what they should or should not scan you can make a robots.txt file, a file that contains information and rules indicated by webmasters on how to perform the search within the site.


The sloops have finally landed in your ship and scanned it from top to bottom. Now, what happens?

After discovering a page, Google tries to figure out what it’s about by analyzing each piece of content (such as text, video, and images). This information is then stored in the Google Index, a huge database containing hundreds of billions of web pages.

Therefore, the indexing or cataloging is this copying process carried out by crawlers that add material to their search engine’s index for later display in the SERP in ranking order at the time of the query.

To find pages with relevant information, the first step involves analyzing the meaning of the words used in the search query: from interpreting spelling errors to attempting to understand the phrase.

For example, someone looking for how to change a rudder is looking for how to replace this critical piece of the ship.

Next, the algorithm searches for web pages containing information that matches the queries. It then analyzes the frequency, position, and match of those keywords in the titles, headers, or body of a page.

So, the basis of proper indexing is content understood as words, images, videos, documents. The more information consistent with the topic for which you want to be indexed we include in the text, the greater the chances of obtaining visibility for that topic.

If you are wondering how long does it take Google to index a site, you can always find out by reaching this page of my logbook!


Depending on the search query, there can be millions or even billions of results!

For this reason, before deciding which pages to pull from the index and publish them, Google applies a series of algorithms to , or determine the order in which to display them in the SERPs (the so-called search engine positioning).

At this stage it must perform some critical steps:

  • interpret the user’s search intent;
  • identify pages in the index related to the query;
  • classify and return such pages in the SERP in order of relevance and importance.

Results best are determined based on many factors, such as geographic location, language, device, previous user queries, content freshness, and site speed.

For example, a search for “ship repair shops” shows different results to a user in Paris than to a user in Hong Kong.

This is one of the main areas affected by thesearch engine optimization.

Effective SEO services help to influence the relevance and importance of a web page to related searches. That’s why it’s important to rely on those who have been sailing these seas for a very long time. Choose buzzynerd.


After crawling, indexing and ranking (which can often run into a few hiccups) we will see our content appear within the SERP.

For a thousand whales, it’s not black magic! It’s just how the search engine works.

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