What Kind Of Testing Does Google Do?

Gary Green
Gary Green
October 12, 2022

Google has made it its goal to always provide its users with the most relevant and useful information possible and, to this end, it carries out rigorous testing to ensure that its Search functionality is at its optimal level.

Whenever Google makes changes to its Search function, it ensures that those changes have been made with the sole intention of improving the usefulness and helpfulness of the results that are displayed. This is the reason why Google never takes payment from any company for inclusion within the search results.

Google’s Rigorous Testing Process

Over the years, Google Search has gone through many changes in order to meet the ever-fluctuating expectations and needs of its users. From updates to the ranking algorithms that it employers to ensure it is always highlighting the most relevant content for users to innovations such as the Knowledge Graph, Google’s goal is to always improve the helpfulness and usefulness of the results that it returns to users’ queries.

This is why Google always puts every potential change to the Search function through a rigorous process of testing and evaluation. Should the testing reveal that a particularly change will bring results that are actually less useful than before, the change won’t be launched.

Search Experiments

Google’s engineers come up with numerous ideas and suggestions about ways of making the results that are returned to users’ queries more useful. However, those suggestions and ideas aren’t simply adopted without due process being carried out. Google doesn’t go on hunches or even on expert opinions. Rather, it relies on a process of extensive testing and rigorous evaluation in order to analyse the relevant metrics and determine whether or not any proposed change should be implemented or not.

The data revealed from those experiments and evaluations then pass through a comprehensive review process where it is examined by highly experienced search analysts and engineers together with other privacy and legal experts, who will then determine whether or not the change should be approved for launch.

In just 2019 alone, Google ran more than 464,000 experiments using live tests and external trained search raters, and the result was over 3,620 improvements being made to the search function.

How Does Google Gather Data?

Google gathers data in a wide range of ways. These include:

  • Side-by-side experiments
  • Search quality testing
  • Launches
  • Live traffic experiments

Google works closely with external search quality raters in order to measure how good the quality of search results are on a continuous basis. These raters are required as part of their job remit to assess how effectively any given website gives users who click onto it what they’re searching for while also evaluating how good the results quality is based on the content’s trustworthiness, authoritativeness and expertise.

Although those ratings have no direct impact on ranking, they do assist Google in benchmarking its results quality and ensuring that those results meet the highest expectations of users worldwide.

In order to ensure that a consistent approach is taken across the globe, Google publishes guidelines for search quality raters. These give all raters clear guidance as well as defined examples for appropriate ratings.

Although it may appear simple to evaluate results quality, in reality there are numerous complex cases that arise and tricky situations that need to be thought through. Therefore, this feedback remains vital to ensuring that Google can maintain the highest quality results for its users.

Selling Advertising Rather Than Search Results

It has always been Google’s belief that it is vital for everybody to be able to gain access to high quality information without needing to pay for it. Advertising is the reason that Google can provide a high quality free search engine that works equally well for everybody, regardless of their income level or level of their education.

When users use the Google Search function, they may see adverts appear within their search results. However, Google believes in the importance of transparency when it comes to showing that there are differences between organic and paid results. This is why Google always clearly labels adverts as such so that they’re able to be distinguished easily from the remainder of the page’s results which are organic in nature.

Google also works hard to only display ads when they are highly relevant to the task which users are attempting to achieve while using Google. Advertisers are only charged by Google with a user interacts with the advert, and this means that Google’s sole interest is in displaying adverts that are useful to the user. Often, Google will run no adverts at all.

Also, the commercial relationships that Google has established have absolutely no effect on algorithmic changes to the Search function. Partner advertisers receive no special treatment when it comes to resolving organic requests or search issues. These issues are always handled in ways that are based on their impact and importance to the user rather than because of their financial relationships with Google itself.

Why Does Google Carry Out Testing?

Google believes in the importance of customer satisfaction, and that means that as an organization it must be always on the ball and staying ahead of consumer expectations. It is vitally important for Google that it continues to provide a search function that is ahead of the competition and that provides its users with precisely what they are looking for – good quality results that answer their questions and provide them with the advice or information that they are seeking.

This is the reason why Google carries out regular and rigorous testing on its search facilities. It wants to be certain that customers are always getting the level of results that they demand and expect, and whenever changes need to be made, they are checked repeatedly and in-depth to ensure that they really are changes for the better rather than just changes for the sake of change.

This is why Google’s search engine has remained the most popular for years and it appears that nothing will change any time soon.

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