Google gives a beginner-friendly explanation of how it improves search results in a new video published to the company’s YouTube channel.
The video is clearly aimed at an audience that’s less familiar with Google Search than the average SEO or website owner.
Google tends to publish this level of content on ‘Google’ YouTube channel, whereas more advanced content resides on the ‘Google Webmasters’ channel.
Maybe it’s the search geek in me, but I always find it interesting to see how Google explains search to a general audience.
If you’re anything like me then you may find it interesting as well.
Here’s a recap of different points that are touched on in the video.
Video recap: How Google Search continues to improve results
Contrary to what some people might think, Google cannot make changes to individual search results pages.
Rather, it implements systems that improve search results as a whole.
“No system is perfect, and sometimes ours may miss the mark and show you content that isn’t really that relevant or doesn’t come from the most reliable sources.
You might think that we can just fix the results for that specific search, but with billions of searches per day there’s no way that anyone can manually decide which pieces of content should be ranked above others.
Here’s what we do instead: make search better.
We do that by coming up with improvements to our systems that we think might help not just those queries that turn up unreliable or irrelevant results, but a broad range of similar searches.”
Thousands of improvements per year
The video goes on to reveal that, in 2019 alone, Google made around 3,620 improvements to search results.
That’s an average of nearly 10 improvements a day.
“These changes help us with ranking our blue link web results, and our search features like autocomplete, knowledge panels, and featured snippets.”
To be sure, not all of those 3,000+ improvements are algorithm updates.
Improvements can also involve editing information within search features.
Although Google cannot make changes to individual SERPs, it can make changes to specific search features.
Google gives an example of incorrect information appearing in a recipe card in search results.
Google can manually edit these search features at will, which is usually what happens when it’s alerted to the mistakes by users.
“Every now and then we do have to remove incorrect or policy violating information from search features ourselves.
Sometimes we’re alerted to issues based on feedback from our users. Then we look into what caused the issue, take what we’ve learned, and keep improving our systems with the goal of preventing this kind of thing from happening again.”
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Google concludes the video by acknowledging that no system is perfect. But the company is committed to making improvements every day to help people find what they’re looking for.