How Does the Google Search Algorithm Work?

In order to understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website, you must also understand how the Google Search Algorithm works. Google Search is a series of algorithm’s, each specifically created to help people find the best results for their search query. There are 4 main things these algorithms focus on: relevance, meaning, sources, and location.


Google also uses algorithms to analyze the relevance of page content to a search query. The most basic indicator that a page contains relevant information is that it uses the same keywords as a user’s search. Relevance signals also help algorithms determine if a page’s content actually contains answers to the queries, rather than just repeating questions.


Google Search uses algorithms that help the system understand the meaning of search queries. This involves understanding the category of information you are looking for. It also involves understanding specific words like common misspellings or synonyms. For example, the use of words like “pdf” or “picture” in the query are an indicator of the type of content you are looking for.

Google also has a freshness algorithm so that if a query uses a trending keyword the search results will provide more up to date content. So, for example, a search for “election results” would yield the most recent information.


Certain algorithms not only work to provide relevant sources, but also reliable ones. Google also uses spam algorithms to help filter out low-quality web pages. Things like page load speed, secure coding, and properly indexed sitemaps are important. Another good indicator of source reliability is if other prominent webpages link to it.


Information like a user’s location, search history, and search settings are also used to tailor search results. For example, if you search for “web design firms” Google will note your location and rank results near you higher. 

Understanding these aspects of how Google ranks content can help you optimize your website’s content. For help with your website contact GovUnity today. Our capabilities include: website design, website development, SEO consulting, social media management, graphic design, and more.