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Google Search
Google 2015 logo.svg
Screenshot
Google Homepage.svg
Google Search homepage as of March 2020
Type of site
Web search engine
Available in149 languages
OwnerGoogle
RevenueGoogle Ads
URLgoogle.com
IPv6 supportYes[1]
CommercialYes
RegistrationOptional
Launched1997; 23 years ago (1997)
Current statusOnline
Written inPython, C, C++[2]

Google Search, or simply Google, is a web search engine developed by Google LLC. It is the most used search engine on the World Wide Web across all platforms, with 92.62% market share as of June 2019,[4] handling more than 5.4 billion searches each day.[5]

The order of search results returned by Google is based, in part, on a priority rank system called "PageRank". Google Search also provides many different options for customized search, using symbols to include, exclude, specify or require certain search behavior, and offers specialized interactive experiences, such as flight status and package tracking, weather forecasts, currency, unit, and time conversions, word definitions, and more.

The main purpose of Google Search is to search for text in publicly accessible documents offered by web servers, as opposed to other data, such as images or data contained in databases. It was originally developed in 1997 by Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Scott Hassan.[6][7][8] In June 2011, Google introduced "Google Voice Search" to search for spoken, rather than typed, words.[9] In May 2012, Google introduced a Knowledge Graph semantic search feature in the U.S.

Analysis of the frequency of search terms may indicate economic, social and health trends.[10] Data about the frequency of use of search terms on Google can be openly inquired via Google Trends and have been shown to correlate with flu outbreaks and unemployment levels, and provide the information faster than traditional reporting methods and surveys. As of mid-2016, Google's search engine has begun to rely on deep neural networks.[11]

Competitors of Google include Baidu and Soso.com in China; Naver.com and Daum.net in South Korea; Yandex in Russia; Seznam.cz in the Czech Republic; Qwant in France;[12] Yahoo in Japan, Taiwan and the US, as well as Bing and DuckDuckGo.[13] Some smaller search engines

Google Search
web search engine developed by Google LLC. It is the most used search engine on the World Wide Web across all platforms, with 92.62% market share as of June 2019,[4] handling more than 5.4 billion searches each day.[5]

The order of search results returned by Google is based, in part, on a priority rank system called "PageRank". Google Search also provides many different options for customized search, using symbols to include, exclude, specify or require certain search behavior, and offers specialized interactive experiences, such as flight status and package tracking, weather forecasts, currency, unit, and time conversions, word definitions, and more.

The main purpose of Google Search is to search for text in publicly accessible documents offered by web servers, as opposed to other data, such as images or data contained in databases. It was originally developed in 1997 by Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Scott Hassan.[6][7][8] In June 2011, Google introduced "Google Voice Search" to search for spoken, rather than typed, words.[9] In May 2012, Google introduced a Knowledge Graph semantic search feature in the U.S.

Analysis of the frequency of search terms may indicate economic, social and health trends.[10] Data about the frequency of use of search terms on Google can be openly inquired via Google Trends and have been shown to correlate with flu outbreaks and unemployment levels, and provide the information faster than traditional reporting methods and surveys. As of mid-2016, Google's search engine has begun to rely on deep neural networks.[11]

Competitors of Google include Baidu and Soso.com in China; Naver.com and Daum.net in South Korea; Yandex in Russia; Seznam.cz in the Czech Republic; Qwant in France;The order of search results returned by Google is based, in part, on a priority rank system called "PageRank". Google Search also provides many different options for customized search, using symbols to include, exclude, specify or require certain search behavior, and offers specialized interactive experiences, such as flight status and package tracking, weather forecasts, currency, unit, and time conversions, word definitions, and more.

The main purpose of Google Search is to search for text in publicly accessible documents offered by web servers, as opposed to other data, such as images or data contained in databases. It was originally developed in 1997 by Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Scott Hassan.[6][7][8] In June 2011, Google introduced "Google Voice Search" to search for spoken, rather than typed, words.[9] In May 2012, Google introduced a Knowledge Graph semantic search feature in the U.S.

Analysis of the frequency of search terms may indicate economic, social and health trends.[10] Data about the frequency of use of search terms on Google can be openly inquired via Google Trends and have been shown to correlate with flu outbreaks and unemployment levels, and provide the information faster than traditional reporting methods and surveys. As of mid-2016, Google's search engine has begun to rely on deep neural networks.[11]

Competitors of Google include Baidu and Soso.com in China; Naver.com and Daum.net in South Korea; Yandex in Russia; Seznam.cz in the Czech Republic; Qwant in France;[12] Yahoo in Japan, Taiwan and the US, as well as Bing and DuckDuckGo.[13] Some smaller search engines offer facilities not available with Google, e.g. not storing any private or tracking information.

Within the U.S., as of July 2018, Bing handled 24.2 percent of all search queries. During the same period, Oath (formerly known as Yahoo) had a search market share of 11.5 percent. Market leader Google generated 63.2 percent of all core search queries in the U.S.[14]

Google indexes hundreds of terabytes of information from web pages.[15] For websites that are currently down or otherwise not available, Google provides links to cached versions of the site, formed by the search engine's latest indexing of that page.[16] Additionally, Google indexes some file types, being able to show users PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, certain Flash multimedia content, and plain text files.[17] Users can also activate "SafeSearch", a filtering technology aimed at preventing explicit and pornographic content from appearing in search results.[18]

Despite Google search's immense index, sources generally assume that Google is only indexing less than 5% of the total Internet, with the rest belonging to the deep web, inaccessible through its search tools.[15][19][20]

In 2012, Google changed its search indexing tools to demote sites that had been accused of piracy.[21] In October 2016, Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst with Google, announced that the search engine would be making a separate, primary web index dedicated for mobile devices, with a secondary, less up-to-date index for desktop use. The change was a response to the continued growth in mobile usage, and a push for web developers to adopt a mobile-friendly version of their websites.[22][23] In December 2017, Google began rolling out the change, having already done so for multiple websites.[24]

"Caffeine" search architecture upgrade

In August 2009, Google invited web developers to test a new search architecture, codenamed "Caffeine", and give their feedback. The new architecture provided no visual differences in the user interface, but added significant speed improvements and a new "under-the-hood" indexing infrastructure. The move was interpreted in some quarters as a response to Microsoft's recent release of an upgraded version of its own search service, renamed Bing, as well as the launch of Wolfram Alpha, a new search engine based on "computational knowledge".[25][26] Google announced completion of "Caffeine" on June 8, 2010, claiming 50% fresher results due to continuous updating of its index.[27]

With "Caffeine", Google moved its back-end indexing system away from MapReduce and onto Bigtable, the company's distributed database platform.[28][29]

"Medic" search algorithm update

In August 2018, Danny Sullivan from Google announced a broad core algorithm update. As per current analysis done by the industry leaders Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Land, the update was to drop down the medical and health-related websites that were not user friendly and were not providing good user experience. This is why the industry experts named it "Medic".[30]

Google reserves very high standards for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) pages. This is because misinformation can affect users financially, physically, or emotionally. Therefore, the update targeted particularly those YMYL pages that have low-quality content and misinformation. This resulted in the algorithm targeting health and medical-related websites more than others. However, many other websites from other industries were also negatively affected.[31]

Performing a search

A definition link is provided for many search terms.

Google Search consists of a series of localized websites. The largest of those, the google.com site, is the top most-visited website in the world.[32] Some of its features include a definition link for most searches including dictionary words, the number of results you got on your search, links to other searches (e.g. for words that Google believes to be misspelled, it provides a link to the search results using its proposed spelling), and many more.

Search syntax

Google search accepts queries as normal text, as well as individual keywords.[33] It automatically corrects misspelled words, and yields the same results regardless of capitalization.[33] For more customized results, one can use a wide variety of operators, including, but not limited to:[34][35]

  • OR – Se

    Despite Google search's immense index, sources generally assume that Google is only indexing less than 5% of the total Internet, with the rest belonging to the deep web, inaccessible through its search tools.[15][19][20]

    In 2012, Google changed its search indexing tools to demote sites that had been accused of piracy.[21] In October 2016, Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst with Google, announced that the search engine would be making a separate, primary web index dedicated for mobile devices, with a secondary, less up-to-date index for desktop use. The change was a response to the continued growth in mobile usage, and a push for web developers to adopt a mobile-friendly version of their websites.[22][23] In December 2017, Google began rolling out the change, having already done so for multiple websites.[24]

    In August 2009, Google invited web developers to test a new search architecture, codenamed "Caffeine", and give their feedback. The new architecture provided no visual differences in the user interface, but added significant speed improvements and a new "under-the-hood" indexing infrastructure. The move was interpreted in some quarters as a response to Microsoft's recent release of an upgraded version of its own search service, renamed Bing, as well as the launch of Wolfram Alpha, a new search engine based on "computational knowledge".[25][26] Google announced completion of "Caffeine" on June 8, 2010, claiming 50% fresher results due to continuous updating of its index.[27]

    With "Caffeine", Google moved its back-end indexing system away from MapReduce and onto Bigtable, th

    With "Caffeine", Google moved its back-end indexing system away from MapReduce and onto Bigtable, the company's distributed database platform.[28][29]

    In August 2018, Danny Sullivan from Google announced a broad core algorithm update. As per current analysis done by the industry leaders Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Land, the update was to drop down the medical and health-related websites that were not user friendly and were not providing good user experience. This is why the industry experts named it "Medic".[30]

    Google reserves very high standards for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) pages. This is because misinformation can affect users financially, physically, or emotionally. Theref

    Google reserves very high standards for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) pages. This is because misinformation can affect users financially, physically, or emotionally. Therefore, the update targeted particularly those YMYL pages that have low-quality content and misinformation. This resulted in the algorithm targeting health and medical-related websites more than others. However, many other websites from other industries were also negatively affected.[31]

    Google Search consists of a series of localized websites. The largest of those, the google.com site, is the top most-visited website in the world.[32] Some of its features include a definition link for most searches including dictionary words, the number of results you got on your search, links to other searches (e.g. for words that Google believes to be misspelled, it provides a link to the search results using its proposed spelling), and many more.

    Search syntax

    Google search accepts queries as normal text, as well as individual keywords.[33] It automatically corrects misspelled words, and yields the same results regardless of capitalization.[33] For more customized results, one can use a wide variety of operators, including, but not limited to:[34][35]

    • OR – Search for webpages containing one of two similar queries, such as marathon OR race
    • - (minus sign) – Exclude a word or a phra

      Google search accepts queries as normal text, as well as individual keywords.[33] It automatically corrects misspelled words, and yields the same results regardless of capitalization.[33] For more customized results, one can use a wide variety of operators, including, but not limited to:[34][35]

      • OR – Search for webpages containing one of two simil

        Google applies query expansion to submitted search queries, using techniques to deliver results that it considers "smarter" than the query users actually submitted. This technique involves several steps, including:[36]

        • Word stemming – Certain words can be reduced so other, similar terms, are also found in results, such as "translator" can also search for "translation"
        • Acronyms – Searching for abbreviations can also return results about the name in its full length, such as "NATO" can show results for "North Atlantic Treaty Organization"
        • Misspellings – Google will often suggest correct spellings for misspelled words
        • Synonyms – In most cases where a word is incorrectly used in a phrase or sentence, Google search will show results based on the correct synonym
        • Translations – The search engine can, in some instances, suggest results for specific words in a different language
        • Ignoring words – In some search queries containing extraneous or insignificant words, Google search will simply drop those specific words from the query
        autocompleted search suggestions in a list below the search bar while typing.[37]

        "I'm Feeling Lucky"

        Google's homepage includes a button labeled "I'm Feeling Lucky". This feature originally allowed users to type in their search query, click the button and be taken directly to the first result, bypassing the search results page. With the 2010 announcement of Google Instant, an automatic feature that immediately displays relevant results as users are typing in their query, the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button disappears, requiring that users opt-out of Instant results through search settings to keep using the "I'm Feeling Lucky" functionality.[38] In 2012, "I'm Feeling Lucky" was changed to serve as an advertisement for Google services; users hover their computer mouse over the button, it spins and shows an emotion ("I'm Feeling Puzzled" or "I'm Feeling Trendy", for instance), and, when clicked, takes users to a Google service related to that emotion.[39]

        Tom Chavez of "Rapt", a firm helping to determine a website's advertising worth, estimated in 2007 that Google lost $110 million in revenue per year due to use of the button, which bypasses the advertisements found on the search resu

        Google's homepage includes a button labeled "I'm Feeling Lucky". This feature originally allowed users to type in their search query, click the button and be taken directly to the first result, bypassing the search results page. With the 2010 announcement of Google Instant, an automatic feature that immediately displays relevant results as users are typing in their query, the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button disappears, requiring that users opt-out of Instant results through search settings to keep using the "I'm Feeling Lucky" functionality.[38] In 2012, "I'm Feeling Lucky" was changed to serve as an advertisement for Google services; users hover their computer mouse over the button, it spins and shows an emotion ("I'm Feeling Puzzled" or "I'm Feeling Trendy", for instance), and, when clicked, takes users to a Google service related to that emotion.[39]

        Tom Chavez of "Rapt", a firm helping to determine a website's advertising worth, estimated in 2007 that Google lost $110 million in revenue per year due to use of the button, which bypasses the advertisements found on the search results page.[40]

        [40]

        Besides the main text-based search-engine features of Google search, it also offers multiple quick, interactive experiences. These include, but are not limited to:[41][42][43]

        • Calculator
        • Time zone, currency, and unit conversions
        • Word translations
        • Flight status
        • Local film showings
        • Weather forecasts
        • Population and unemployment rates
        • Package tracking
        • Word definitions
        • Met

          During Google's developer conference, Google I/O, in May 2013, the company announced that, on Google Chrome and Chrome OS, users would be able to say "OK Google", with the browser initiating an audio-based search, with no button presses required. After having the answer presented, users can follow up with additional, contextual questions; an example include initially asking "OK Google, will it be sunny in Santa Cruz this weekend?", hearing a spoken answer, and reply with "how far is it from here?"[44][45] An update to the Chrome browser with voice-search functionality rolled out a week later, though it required a button press on a microphone icon rather than "OK Google" voice activation.[46] Google released a browser extension for the Chrome browser, named with a "beta" tag for unfinished development, shortly thereafter.[47] In May 2014, the company officially added "OK Google" into the browser itself;[48] they removed it in October 2015, citing low usage, though the microphone icon for activation remained available.[49] In May 2016, 20% of search queries on mobile devices were done through voice.[50]

          Search results

          Universal search

          "Universal search" was launched by Google on May 16, 2007 as an idea that merged the results from different kinds of search types into one. Prior to Universal search, a standard Google search would consist of links only to websites. Universal search, however, incorporates a wide variety of sources, including websites, news, pictures, maps, blogs, videos, and more, all shown on the same search results page.[51][52] Marissa Mayer, then-vice president of search products and user experience, described the goal of Universal search as "we're

          "Universal search" was launched by Google on May 16, 2007 as an idea that merged the results from different kinds of search types into one. Prior to Universal search, a standard Google search would consist of links only to websites. Universal search, however, incorporates a wide variety of sources, including websites, news, pictures, maps, blogs, videos, and more, all shown on the same search results page.[51][52] Marissa Mayer, then-vice president of search products and user experience, described the goal of Universal search as "we're attempting to break down the walls that traditionally separated our various search properties and integrate the vast amounts of information available into one simple set of search results.[53]

          In June 2017, Google expanded its search results to cover available job listings. The data is aggregated from various major job boards and collected by anal

          In June 2017, Google expanded its search results to cover available job listings. The data is aggregated from various major job boards and collected by analyzing company homepages. Initially only available in English, the feature aims to simplify finding jobs suitable for each user.[54][55]

          In May 2009, Google announced that they would be parsing website microformats to populate search result pages with "Rich snippets". Such snippets include additional details about results, such as displaying reviews for restaurants and social media accounts for individuals.[56]

          In May 2016, Google expanded on the "Rich snippets" format to offer "Rich

          In May 2016, Google expanded on the "Rich snippets" format to offer "Rich cards", which, similarly to snippets, display more information about results, but shows them at the top of the mobile website in a swipeable carousel-like format.[57] Originally limited to movie and recipe websites in the United States only, the feature expanded to all countries globally in 2017.[58]

          Now the web publishers can have greater control over the rich snippets. Preview settings from these meta tags will become effective in mid-to-late October 2019 and may take about a week for the global rollout to complete.[59]

          The Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search engine's results with information gathered from a variety of sources.[60] This information is presented to users in a box to the right of search results.[61] Knowledge Graph boxes were added to Google's search engine in May 2012,[60] starting in the United States, with international expansion by the end of the year.[62] The information covered by the Knowledge Graph grew significantly after launch, tripling its original size within seven months,[63] and being able to answer "roughly one-third" of the 100 billion monthly searches Google processed in May 2016.[64] The information is often used as a spoken answer in Google Assistant[65] and Google Home searches.[66] The Knowledge Graph has been criticized for providing answers without source attribution.[64]

          Google Search has been accused of using a so-called zero-click search to prevent a large part of the traffic leaving its page to third-party publishers. As a result, 71% of searches end on the Google search page. In case of one spec

          Google Search has been accused of using a so-called zero-click search to prevent a large part of the traffic leaving its page to third-party publishers. As a result, 71% of searches end on the Google search page. In case of one specific query out of 890'000 searches on Google, only 30'000 resulted in the user clicking on the results website.[67]

          In May 2017, Google enabled a new "Personal" tab in Google Search, letting users search for content in their Google accounts' various services, including email messages from Gmail and photos from Google Photos.[68][69]

          Google feed

          The Google feed is a personalized stream of articles, videos, and other news-related content. The feed contains a "mix of cards" which show topics of interest based on users' interactions with Google, or topics they choose to follow directly.[70] Cards include, "links to news stories, YouTube videos, sports scores, recipes, and other content based on what [Google] determined you're most likely to be interested in at that particular moment."[70] Users can also tell Google they're not interested in certain topics to avoid seeing future updates.

          The Google feed launched in December 2016The Google feed launched in December 2016[71] and received a major update in July 2017.[72] As of May 2018, the Google feed can be found on the Google app and by swiping left on the home screen of certain Android devices. As of 2019, Google will not allow political campaigns worldwide to target their advertisement to people to make them vote.[73]

          Google's rise was largely due to a patented algorithm called PageRank which helps rank web pages that match a given search string.[74] When Google was a Stanford research project, it was nicknamed BackRub because the technology checks backlinks to determine a site's importance. Other keyword-based methods to rank search results, used by many search engines that were once more popular than Google, would check how often the search terms occurred in a page, or how strongly associated the search terms were within each resulting page. The PageRank algorithm instead analyzes human-generated links assuming that web pages linked from many important pages are also important. The algorithm computes a recursive score for pages, based on the weighted sum of other pages linking to them. PageRank is thought to correlate well with human concepts of importance. In addition to PageRank, Google, over the years, has added many other secret criteria for determining the ranking of resulting pages. This is reported to comprise over 250 different indicators,[75][76] the specifics of which are kept secret to avoid difficulties created by scammers and help Google maintain an edge over its competitors globally.

          PageRank was influenced by a similar page-ranking and site-scoring algorithm earlier used for RankDex, developed by Robin Li in 1996. Larry Page's patent for PageRank filed

          PageRank was influenced by a similar page-ranking and site-scoring algorithm earlier used for RankDex, developed by Robin Li in 1996. Larry Page's patent for PageRank filed in 1998 includes a citation to Li's earlier patent. Li later went on to create the Chinese search engine Baidu in 2000.[77][78][79]

          In a potential hint of Google's future direction of their Search algorithm, Google's then chief executive Eric Schmidt, said in a 2007 interview with the Financial Times: "The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as 'What shall I do tomorrow?' and 'What job shall I take?'".[80] Schmidt reaffirmed this during a 2010 interview with the Wall Street Journal: "I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions, they want Google to tell them what they should be doing next."[81]

          In 2013 the European Commission found that Google Search favored Google's own products, instead of the best result for consumers' needs.[82] In February 2015 Google announced a major change to its mobile search algorithm which would favor mobile friendly over other websites. Nearly 60% of Google searches come from mobile phones. Google says it wants users to have access to premium quality websites. Those websites which lack a mobile-friendly interface would be ranked lower and it is expected that this update will cause a shake-up of ranks. Businesses who fail to update their websites accordingly could see a dip in their regular websites traffic.[83]

          Because Google is the most popular search engine, many webmasters attempt to influence their website's Google rankings. An industry of consultants has arisen to help websites increase their rankings on Google and other search engines. This field, called search engine optimization, attempts to discern patterns in search engine listings, and then develop a methodology for improving rankings to draw more searchers to their clients' sites. Search engine optimization encompasses both "on page" factors (like body copy, title elements, H1 heading elements and image alt attribute values) and Off Page Optimization factors (like anchor text and PageRank). The general idea is to affect Google's relevance algorithm by incorporating the keywords being targeted in various places "on page", in particular the title element and the body copy (note: the higher up in the page, presumably the better its keyword prominence and thus the ranking). Too many occurrences of the keyword, however, cause the page to look suspect to Google's spam checking algorithms. Google has published guidelines for website owners who would like to raise their rankings when using legitimate optimization consultants.[84] It has been hypothesized, and, allegedly, is the opinion of the owner of one business about which there have been numerous complaints, that negative publicity, for example, numerous consumer complaints, may serve as well to elevate page rank on Google Search as favorable comments.[85] The particular problem addressed in The New York Times article, which involved DecorMyEyes, was addressed shortly thereafter by an undisclosed fix in the Google algorithm. According to Google, it was not the frequently published consumer complaints about DecorMyEyes which resulted in the high ranking but mentions on news websites of events which affected the firm such as legal actions against it. Google Search Console helps to check for websites that use duplicate or copyright content.[86]

          "Hummingbird" search algorithm upgrade