How Google Search Works

Every time you search, there are thousands, sometimes millions, of webpages with helpful information. How Google works out which results to show starts long before you even type, and is guided by a commitment to our users to provide the best information.


Organising the
content of the web

Even before you search, Google organises information about webpages in our Search index. The index is like a library, except that it contains more info than in all the world’s libraries put together.

Learn more about crawling and indexing
Organising the content of the web

Instantly matching
your search

In a fraction of a second, Google’s Search algorithms sort through hundreds of billions of webpages in our Search index to find the most relevant, useful results for what you’re looking for.

Learn more about search algorithms
Instantly matching your search

Presenting results
in helpful ways

To help you find what you’re looking for quickly, Google provides results in many useful formats. Whether presented as a map with directions, images, videos or stories, we’re constantly evolving with new ways to present information.

Learn more about useful responses
Presenting results in helpful ways

We only sell ads, not
search results

While advertisers can pay to be displayed in clearly marked sections of the page, no one can buy better placement in the search results.

Learn more about how we make money with advertising
We only sell ads, not search results

Always improving
your experience

We know Search can always be better. That’s why Google engineers spend every day testing it, conducting hundreds of thousands of experiments every year, resulting in thousands of improvements.

Learn more about our rigorous testing
Always improving your experience