Crawlers and the Competition: What Algorithm Does Google Search Use?

Just like the Krabby Patty recipe, the exact details of Google’s PageRank algorithm are a company secret.

We do know the general principles. It’s just that for every couple of algorithms we do know about, Google has 200 or more under lock and key.

Despite that, there are some things we know.

If you type in “what algorithm does google search use,” into the search bar, how does Google determine which websites to show us? Keep reading to find out.

Crawlers and the Competition

History of PageRank

When Sergey Brin and Larry Page were Ph.D. students at Stanford, they actually published a research paper on page ranking. They called it “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.”

Around 1996, the two collaborators were working on BackRub, the precursor to Google search. The two were working on a part of the Stanford Digital Library Project.

In 1997, they registered as a domain.

In the early years, Google’s algorithm saw only a few updates per year. Now, each year Google makes thousands of updates.

How Does Google Index Pages

Say you had 1 million pages on the internet. You needed to decide which are the best to show.

The basis of the Google algorithm is linking; if a page is good, then other pages should link back to it, right?

Say you have a link like For this page to rank on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), you would want many other pages to link back to it. However, it is not about the volume of links; a programmer could easily write a program creating millions of links.

The page linking the page you are trying to rank must be an important page itself. If a high-ranking page links to a page, then that page should rank highly itself.

This may sound like a circular process, but it actually makes complete sense given Google’s basic algorithm.

Google is constantly re-ranking its pages based on the information it finds. With a million, or billion passes, eventually, the algorithm gets a stable idea of which pages are truly important. Of course, Google employs mathematical shortcuts to allow it to do this efficiently.

What Algorithm Does Google Search Use

There have been many, many updates to Google’s algorithm since its creation.

Here are a few important ones.


Panda checks for keyword stuffing, plagiarized content, and more. It then assigns a “quality score” to the page, which affects how the page ranks.


This add-on to the google search algorithm de-ranks any site that uses unnatural-looking links. If a site is buying links or the backlinks look off, Penguin will catch them.


This addition helps users find results that match their search intent rather than the individual words they are searching for. It uses natural language processing.

Future Updates

So, what algorithm does Google search use? Google will continue to make thousands of updates per year to its bevy of algorithms. We expect the trend in the future to involve more AI and machine learning.

This will enable results to become more and more tailored to the individual searcher based on that individual’s browsing history.

For more information, check out our technology page.

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About the Author: Alex

Alex Jones is a writer and blogger who expresses ideas and thoughts through writings. He loves to get engaged with the readers who are seeking for informative content on various niches over the internet. He is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which He is sharing research-based content with the vast online community.

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