Google has finally decided to lose the 'Secret Agent' persona just a bit and via the Google Blog given a tour of its 'Search Quality' The quality team responsible for the ranking of Google Search Results is called the Search Quality Team. One of the main responsibilities of the Search Quality Team is to ascertain the importance of a web page and decide its relevance towards the user query before displaying the page.
One of the prominent teams working on the Search Quality is the Core Ranking Team. Ranking is essential in the search engine business, as it adds to the proficiency of the search engine and also to the revenues. Understanding of rankings is a complex procedure with very limited room to maneuver. According to Google, its core ranking team has to first understand the web pages regardless of the author, language and purpose of theirs. Another difficult aspect of ranking is the interpretation of the user query, that is often quite short and often off the track. All this has to be done in no more than a few milliseconds, thus making it quite a challenging task.
The most famous Google ranking algorithm also known as PageRank was developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin who were also the founders of Google. The PageRank system has now evolved as part of a much larger and intricate system. There are various models on which the ranking system is modeled upon. They are:
- Language Models (the ability to handle phrases, synonyms, spelling mistakes, etc.)
- Query Models (User Search Queries)
- Time Models
- Personalized Models (User Taste)
Google keeps on updating its systems and services in an effort towards enhancing User Experience. Another important step in the Google Search Quality is accomplished by its evaluation team. It checks, double checks and keep on checking any improvements, algorithms or any addition till they are satisfied of its functionality. The one and only goal is of improving 'User Experience". Google conducts automated evaluations every minute and periodic evaluations to ensure that everything runs smoothly. According to Google, last year it rolled out 450 new improvements, that on an average amounts to almost 9 improvements per week. Such as the PageRank Update that rolled out in January 2008.
Google always looks towards the big picture, that is, it always thinks global. Google had been working continuously to improve the International Search. It has made several changes in this field, such as the implementation of 'Spell Check' for languages such as Estonian, Catalan, Serbian, Serbo-Croatian, Ukrainian, Bosnian, Latvian, Filipino, Slovenian and Farsi. It also undertook significant changes in Azerbaijani (official language of Azerbaijan).
User-Friendly appearance and functionality is paramount for Google, whether it is the Search Engine Interface or any other Google services. Google maintains the principle of 'simple is good'. While adding new features to an existing service or creating an entirely new service, it always keeps in mind that the 'change' should be compelling and user-friendly. Some of the many advancements made by Google consist of the Google Universal Search, Google Custom Search Engine and the Google Notebook. The User Interface team is helped by a team of usability experts who conduct user studies and evaluate new features. They travel all over the world, and they even go to people's homes to see users in their natural habitat.
A separate team working towards the betterment of the Google Search Quality constantly embattles web-spam and other types of abuse. The team targets various fixed targets as well as targets of opportunity, such as hidden text to off-topic pages stuffed with gibberish keywords, plus many other schemes that people use in an attempt to rank higher in Google Search Results.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, that we call Google. Considering how huge and vast it is, no surprise that they have dedicated teams for every bit and piece of work and keep such close tabs on their technologies. I guess, CIA can learn more from Google!