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Google Shares Three Ranking Philosophies

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The Google Search Quality Team is keeping its promise to explain more about how they conduct their work. As usual and expected, it's fantastically vague, but since a chunk of our readers at any given time are new to search, it's worth going over.

Writing on the Official Google blog, Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow on the Core Ranking Team, defines Google ranking:

"Google ranking is a collection of algorithms used to find the most relevant documents for a user query. We do this for hundreds of millions of queries a day, from a collection of billions and billions of pages. These algorithms are run for every query entered into most of Google's search services. While our web search is the most used Google search service and the most widely known, the same ranking algorithms are also used - with some modifications - for other Google search services, including Images, News, YouTube, Maps, Product Search, Book Search, and more."

Then he gave three philosophies that the Core Ranking Team follows:

1) Best locally relevant results served globally.
2) Keep it simple.
3) No manual intervention.

Singhal says that the team strives for simplicity in their architecture, something that Twitter has been struggling with lately. Obviously, with all the queries conducted and the massive amount of content to be indexed, it coud be easy to piece together a very complex architecture (similar to Google's woes with their ad products). With approximately 10 ranking updates per week, Singhal says the team takes simplicity in architecture into consideration in every single update.

Singhal also emphasized philosophy #3 - that Google does not hand edit results.

"You are the ones creating pages and linking to pages. We are using all this human contribution through our algorithms. The final ordering of the results is decided by our algorithms using the contributions of the greater Internet community, not manually by us."

What do you think of Singhal's explanation of Google Ranking? Let us know in the comments.


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