Where do search engine results come from?

Where do search engine results come from?

We use search engines to help us answer just about any question we may have. If these search engines are showing us the most relevant results, why do those results vary so much?

The reason for that inconsistency has a lot to do with the constant evolution of search algorithms. Google and Bing have both been making big updates to their algorithms that affect the search results you get. What are those updates?

Google

Google’s search algorithm has seen some major changes recently. One of the most drastic of those changes is the suppression of results that are coming from content farms.

Content farms are companies that employ a vast number of writers to create text-based content that scams the search algorithms. The goal of most of these companies is purely to attract ad revenue by generating more page views, not to create valuable content.

Google is hoping that by adjusting its algorithm it will produce more relevant results of higher quality. The algorithm uses more human-like understanding to search the Web. Google is also searching the most recent Twitter activity to come up with real-time results.

Bing

Bing declares itself to be the first ever “decision engine.” Bing claims to know what you’re searching for and then finds it for you, without providing you with a bunch of irrelevant results.

Bing is more of a social search engine than most. It takes into account what sites were shared or “liked” by your friends on social networks and shows you those results, which are often most relevant.

Using two different search engines can yield different results. All results should be somewhat relevant, the specific results just depend on what the search engine’s algorithm accounts for.

If you’re interested in learning more about the changes to Google’s search algorithm, take a look at this New York Times article.