Google offers rare peek into how it ranks search

15/11/2011

For the first time, Google has published in-depth details on how it ranks websites, as the firm looks to appease claims that its search engine favours its own products. Google’s search algorithm is a closely guarded secret, with many companies vying to appear top of natural search results on their chosen keywords. The firm does not publicise the changes to keep websites from gaming Google's search results.However, for the first time on Monday it published in-depth details about some of the changes to its search formula.

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Google has outlined tweaks to its search methodology previously, but the new blog post is the first time it has offered this level of detail on a series of adjustments.

The changes that Google detailed Monday are less vulnerable to being gamed, according to Matt Cutts, who helps safeguard search quality at Google.

While less than revelatory, the details published on Google's official blog mark a departure for the Internet search leader, as antitrust regulators investigate claims that the company's search process might be biased toward its own business and operations.

Google makes about 500 changes to its search formula every year. In Monday's blog post, it described 10 recent changes ranging from how it treats Web searches in less-common languages, such as Swahili, to refinements around the way it displays results.

Google is opening up as the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether Google favors its own businesses in search results, a potential violation of antitrust law.

Google hired 12 lobbying firms this summer in the wake of the FTC probe, after previously hiring six other lobbying firms.

Google dominates Internet search with nearly 70% of Web searches around the globe.

For a rundown of the changes, visit the official blog post here.

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