The Evolution of Google Search

The Evolution of Google Search


The Evolution of Google Search

22.02.2012



Beginning as a research project masterminded by two Stanford University graduates of Computer Science in the USA in 1996, the idea of creating a comprehensive and user-friendly search engine had not even existed. How could the enormous quantities of web pages be processed in a way that could allow a user to find exactly what was most relevant to him?

Using algorithms based on calculations of page rank, a brand new way of searching the web was born. Google: “To provide the most relevant information to the user in the fastest way possible.” Now, for the first time, a search query could be inputted, and page after page of results could be formulated, with the most relevant web pages at the top of the page, and only a click away.

However, simple web page searching was not enough. As Google’s skills advanced, users needed ways to search the other content there on the web, for those queries and questions that could not be so easily answered by text. Images were the first media to be implemented into Google Search.  Soon, it was necessary for Google to expand, providing the search engine in ten different languages by the year 2000.

2001 saw the whole world shaken by the destruction of the World Trade Centres in New York on September 11th, and here for the first time, Google failed at the very job it was born to do. A sudden rush of users crowded onto the search engine, looking for information on ‘the twin towers’ ‘world trade centre’ ‘New York’, panic-stricken and concerned, but no results could be found.  Google’s search results were indexed the month previously, when no news was available.

From 2001, Google took initiative from its failure, and began to find out ways to index news results instantly, and soon began to implement links to breaking news stories as they happened, right on the search homepage. The new aim was to crawl news pages quickly, and provide users with multiple points of view on the breaking stories, and so Google News was born.

From the steady rise of web pages and images, the new millennium took an even greater hold, seeing an explosion of new content, from videos and news to blogs, maps and more. These different forms of content all had to be indexed, managed, and ready for the users to begin searching. Where users had previously gone to Google News for the latest headlines, Google Images for photos and Blogs for the latest blogs of the day, Google Universal Search gave a whole new level of usability to the search engine, dramatically reducing the time that a user has to spend on a single search query. For Google developers themselves however, the structure of Google Universal Search was a minefield when compiling search results for the different algorithms of different types of content.

Today, Google is moving on to even bigger and better things, and today, Google is so much more than a search engine, Google has also brought us Gmail and Google+, all further enhancing our experience of the web.

The latest innovation, Google Instant, can almost read your thoughts, bringing up alternative queries even as your are still typing! This innovation offers better solutions to finding that all important relevant content and can even provide you with an enhanced query for even more complex answers.

 

A Timeline of Google’s Milestones:

1996: Google.com registered sixteen years ago.

2000: Google Search available in ten different languages.

2001 - 2002: The World Trade Centers, and the evolution of Google News.

2004: Gmail launched.

2005: The launch of Google Video allowed users to search an index of recent television transcripts.
           Google Translate and Google Blog Search are born.

2007: Universal Search allows all content sources, from web, images and news to maps, videos and books can all be searched and ranked on one page.

2008: Google Site Search is launched to allow website owners to have Google-powered searches on their own websites.

                Google Suggest begins to help users in formulating their search queries with fewer spelling errors, and offering alternative suggestions.

2010: Google Search gets a fresh new look with a left hand panel to bring together all of the most relevant search results.

2011: Google Instant once again revolutionises the way searches are conducted, bringing up results as the user is still typing. Instant Previews allows the user to see a visual preview of a webpage before he clicks on it.

                Google Search by Image and Flight Search launched.

2012: Google updates several of its algorithms, including:

  • Tighter integration of Panda security in the main search index.
  • Updated the page layout to devalue websites that had too much ad space.
  • Pushed Google+ and social data and user profiles into SERPS.
  • Image search landing page quality detection, more relevant site links, richer snippers and related query improvements.

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