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  • Writer's pictureDan Lauer

Google Introduces a New YouTube Series From Gary Illyes - How Search Works

This week Google released a new YouTube Series on it's Google Search Channel channel titled - "Introducing How Search Works" from Gary Illyes. This comes on the heals of Google releasing their updated, simplified, SEO Starter Guide.

For "seasoned" SEO Goblins, like me, most of this is not really new. Google will be releasing a few more videos over the coming weeks in this Five Part series. The SEO series is really probably geared more toward a broader audience, not for "seasoned" SEO and Search Marketing Professionals, however it will be interesting to watch what maybe nuggets Google might reveal.

One thing, that I disagree on the video, or maybe to put is this way - missing, is when Google talks about how it's Search Bots works with a website. Below is a capture from the YouTube video.

It indicates that the steps on how much Google works is...

  1. Crawling

  2. Indexing

  3. Serving

I think they missed an important step. First, Serving is just another name for ranking, but after crawling should come indexing. Why you might ask? When Google sends out a "bot" to your website, the first step is Google will check to see if crawling is "allowed" - this is done through the robots.txt file allow and disallow rules. If crawling is allowed, the next steps, which is what was missed, was rendering. Why is this important? Rendering is how Google goes line by line in your websites code, and loads text, fonts, images, content, videos, and it reads schema mark-up, fires Google Analytics, Search Console, Tag manager, etc. and does it even load properly? Does the site return a 404, 5xx server error, 301 redirect, etc.

When it renders the code of the page, their second step, my third, is indexing - Google will look for index, follow, noindex, nofollow tags in the <head> tag and will then INDEX the page into is vast "library" of websites/domains and then it applies its "ranking systems."

I feel that rendering is a really crucial step that should be understood here as the rendering of the code is what determines what 'signals' are sent to Google in order to allow them to rank the page. Making your website "findable" is really important, but even more so, giving Google clear signals about what they can and should crawl and index and what they shouldn't. What can be crawled and what not to waste Google's time on are important - Google has hundreds of billions of domains to crawl and index, and if you website is really large, Google is not going to crawl every page, every day. I feel this is a really important step - crawl efficiency, that goes under looked by most. I have seen the use of index tags and robots.txt. files set-up sloppy during SEO Tech Audits.

Two of the biggest no brainer tips - that should not be a surprise to ANY SEO Content Goblin were:

  1. You can't pay Google to Rank - duh!

  2. A Searchable Website is dependent on the Quality of the Page.

The first is a myth, maybe conspiracy theory that has been debunked - but basically no matter what you do, or others say, you can't pay Google to rank on Page 1.

The latter is a no brainer and Google has been saying this for a couple years...create "Helpful Content" that "Demonstrates E-E-A-T."

Looking forward to hearing more from Google (Gary) on this series. I think it will be interested what other tips and nuggets we can pull out of this series. So far though, no surprises to this SEO Content Goblin.

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