By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — According to Internet Live Stats, Google conducts 40,000 searches per second. For the most part, each search turns up the information the searcher is seeking.

So, how does Google do it? Good Question.

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“The first thing to understand is that when you go a Google search, you aren’t actually searching the Web, you’re searching a Google index of the Web,” says Matt Cutts, an engineer in the quality group at Google.

Google has indexed much of it through a “crawling” process to discover pages. It has gathered information across hundreds of billions of websites.

Essentially, Google tries to analyze the quality of a website to give its search results.

“The makers of Google are trying to make it so Google’s brain resembles a human,” says Marc Holt, SEO Manager at DigitalParc. “Right now, Google considers more than 200 factors.”

Among those factors are how many times the page contains a person’s keywords in the search. Are those words in the title of the website? Are they in the URL? Are the keywords nearby? Are there synonyms in that site for a person’s search?

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Google also uses what it calls a “page rank,” – a formula invented by Google’s founders that looks at how many outside links point to it and how important those links are.

According to comScore, slightly less than two-thirds of all searches in the U.S. are on Google sites, followed by Microsoft (primarily Bing) and then Yahoo.

“They all follow a similar technology,” says Holt. “If you rank well on Google, you rank well on Yahoo and Bing pretty well.”

Companies can pay Google to place advertisements on its website, but they can’t pay to get a higher ranking. Ads are denoted with a symbol to signify it’s an ad.

Holt says Google is purposefully vague about its criteria and formula, but that it’s constantly changing.

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“It’s trying to weed out low-quality websites in favor or websites that put high-quality out there,” says Holt.

Heather Brown