Google Search is the most widely used search engine on the World Wide Web.It was originally developed in 1997 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google Search is now available as a mobile application for Android, Windows Phone and iOS devices.
Google uses a patented algorithm called PageRank to rank the web pages that match each search.Google is said to use over 250 differ indicators to rank web pages. However, not all the details are available to the public as the information might be exploited by spammers and Google’s competitors. One of the major factors that PageRank analyses is links to the web page. If the quality of the pages linked to a particular web page is high, Google assumes that this web page is also likely to be of high quality. Websites that do not provide a mobile friendly interface and websites that are not kept updated rank lower.
A new industry has developed, which tries to understand patterns in search engine listings and develop a methodology that helps to improve the rankings of particular websites. But Google uses various tools and spam checking algorithms to detect suspicious websites that overuses keywords, use duplicate contents or uses promotional keywords as anchor text.
Google provides a variety of customised search options such as exclusion, alternatives and wildcards. There is also an advanced search option that allows you to be more specific in your search. Google recommends certain syntax and keywords to make your search efficient. You can get results from just one specific website by using the keyword ‘site:’. Using very simple keywords you can also do unit conversions and find out the time zone of any place. You can get flight status by typing in the flight number. Google Search gives translations from one language to another. You can also search for files using the file types, such as ‘doc’ or ‘pdf’. Using the keyword ‘films’ or ‘movies’, along with the postcode of your location, can retrieve information regarding the films running in the theatres nearby. Another quick search you can do in Google Search is for the weather forecast. You just need to enter the name of the city and the word ‘forecast’. Another interesting feature is the ‘related:’ search which gives you websites that are similar to the one you have typed. These are very few of the searches currently possible on Google Search. In 2011, Google introduced a voice search option that allows the users to search spoken words.
Google Search incorporates many amusing features. For instance, if you search ‘do a barrel roll’, the search interface will do a barrel roll. Google also uses literary and popular media references to make things fun for its users. For instance, if you type in ‘the answer to life, the universe and everything’, Google’s calculator will return the answer ‘42’, a reference to the work, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. There is also the Google gravity feature which makes everything onscreen come crashing down. If you are searching specific words, Google often makes its joke by playing on the meaning of the words. For instance, if you type ‘recursion’ which means repetition or returning, Google asks, ‘Did you mean: recursion’, despite you having spelled it correctly. If you search ‘kerning’ which is the space between the letters in a word, Google will change the spacing between the letters in the word ‘kerning’ in the entire search results. If you are searching ‘anagram’ which means rearranging the letters in a word to form a new word or phrase, Google will make an anagram from the word ‘anagram’ and ask, ‘Did you mean: nag a ram. The lighter side of Google Search has also contributed to the popularity of the search engine.
Users can customize the search engine, for instance, change the default language or change the number of results shown on each page.Universal search, which was launched in 2007, includes different kinds of information such as websites, news, pictures, maps, blogs and videos in the search results. Google Search comprises a set of localised websites. The largest of these is the ‘google.com’ site. There have been concerns about privacy as the searches leave their traces which can be used to work out the user’s activities. Government bodies have used this information to track lawbreakers. The records made by search engine providers can connect search terms to an IP address and a time. Being the most popular search engine, Google Search has a great influence in the world’s perception of reality.
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