Skip to main content

Google releases new ‘How Search Works’ video explainer

“How Google Search works” is a perennially asked question, with the query increasingly asked in political contexts. The company has taken steps to publicize and be more transparent in recent years, including a Search Liaison, with the latest being an updated video explainer.

Published on YouTube this morning, it comes nine years after the original “How Search Works” video with Matt Cutts. Today’s is just a voiceover, graphics, and markups in the style of popular explainers.

Two minutes longer than the original, Google is fast to emphasize how it’s only 5 minutes. Topics covered include history, indexing (or mapping) the web’s pages, ranking sites, and serving results.

The query used to illustrate is amusingly “lasagna” and you’re walked through the high-level process of a search, though there’s no overview of Knowledge Panels. Challenges discussed include spam, with the video equating the concept to scam robocalls.

It’s well worth a watch and shows screenshots of the first homepage, while briefly touching upon the original concept of PageRank. Linking joins other concepts like search location and time of publish.

There’s also discussion of Search Quality Raters and the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. The latter PDF is linked to at the end of the video, with the dedicated “How Search Works” page is also listed.

This how Google Search works video might be older as it using the previous, non-Material Theme redesign of the homepage.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:



Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: