There Are Many Forms Of Useful Google Search Responses

Gary Green
Gary Green
October 7, 2022

It was once said by Larry Page that the ideal search engine would understand precisely what the enquirer means and would give them back precisely what they want. Of course, that would be in a perfect world, and it certainly sounds impossible that any search engine, even with today’s cutting-edge technology, would be capable of this level of accuracy. Yet, it remains the ultimate goal that search engines like Google are working towards.

Speeding Responses Without Compromising On Relevance

Time and testing have revealed consistently that people demand rapid responses to the queries that they make. Therefore, search engines have been adapted over recent years to speed up results delivery without compromising on the quality of those results. Google has made considerably progress when it comes to delivering users with answers that are relevant, speedy and in a format that is helpful with regard to the kind of information that is being sought.

For example, if a user is searching for their local weather forecast, it’s likely that they’ll require a local weather forecast showcased on their results page – they don’t just want links to sites that forecast the weather.

If a user is looking for directions to a location, they’re seeking a map that has clear directions, they don’t want links to sites where they may find instructions to help them reach their desired destination. This is particularly vital for mobile device users, since bandwidth can be limited, and it can be very slow when clicking between different sites.

To this end, countless scientists and engineers have worked hard over the past few years to refine the Google algorithms in order to build new and more useful ways of searching for answers. In just 2018 alone, over 3000 improvements were made to Google Search. These improvements included:

Knowledge Graph

This is a database of over a billion real-world things, places and people with more than 50 billion connections and facts amongst them. The Knowledge Graph is designed to show the ways in which things are linked to each other in real life and this allows for rapid responses to questions such as “What’s The Leaning Tower Of Pisa?”, “When Was It Built? And “How High is It?” before allowing the user to click and explore web-wide.

Directions & Traffic

Google has built a draggable and clickable map so users can explore more easily.

Direct Results

Google has paired up with a number of companies that are capable of supplying the services and information that users are seeking, licensing their content in order to supply helpful responses directly on the Google Search page. Cinema lists, weather forecasts and other similar results are provided in this manner.

Featured Snippets

Google’s goal is to supply relevant answers rapidly in a way that is easily accessible. Featured Snippets achieves this by drawing the user’s attention to snippets that are programmatically generated from websites which are deemed by the Google algorithm to have relevance to the topic of the query. Every Snippet includes a relevant factual information drawn from a 3rd party site as well as a URL, page title and link for the relevant page.

Rich Lists

Sometimes a question’s best answer may not be a single response. It could be a collection or list of things, people or places that are connected to each other. If the search query is something like “famous actresses” or “castles in Scotland” these things will appear in a list across the top of the search results page. Clicking on one or more of the items will then allow the user to be taken to a page with further details about that item.

Exploring New Interests With Discover

Sometimes, users don’t have one particular query in mind but are open to finding out more about different topics. Discover was created to meet this need. It can be found not only on the Google app but also on the Google mobile homepage and on Android home screens.

This feed is personalised to show relevant content for the user based on their interests. Users can customise their own experience by choosing to follow specific topics or indicating if and when they’re interested in learning more about a certain subject.

Evolution For A Changing Web

It’s a fact that the world is changing constantly, and that means that the internet is changing along with it. Countless new webpages are being published each and every second of each and every day, and that’s a lot of new content!

The results seen in every Google Search reflect this ever-changing content situation. Google’s automated spider bots are constantly recrawling the web in order to identify and index this new and updated content and, depending on which query you enter in the search engine, you’ll see that the results pages that appear will sometimes change quickly, although others will remain more stable.

As an example, if you perform a search for the up to date score of a football match, up-to-the-second updates will be provided. However, a search about an important historical figure will stay static for an extended period – often for many years.

These days, Google is handling trillions of internet searches every year. Each day, 15% of the search queries that Google processes are brand new and have never been seen before. Therefore, Google needs to construct Search algorithms which are robust enough to provide relevant and useful results for each one of these queries – even for those that are completely unfamiliar.

It is a very complex challenge and something that necessitates ongoing investment and testing for quality. With every year that goes by, Google adds more criteria to its algorithm to ensure that the best and most relevant results are shown to users when they enter a search term, and this is something that is likely to continue for many more years to come, since users will always be looking for answers to the most up-to-date questions which change year on year.

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