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Google redesigns “How the search works” site

Google redesigns "How the search works" site

Google has updated its ‘How Search Works’ website, which provides information on how Google organizes, ranks, and tests search results.

The website was launched in 2016 and explains the inner workings of Google’s search engine in a way that even non-SEOs can understand.

It is an ideal resource to send to clients who know little to nothing about search. As a reader of the Search Engine Journal, on the other hand, you may find the information a bit basic.

One thing that makes the site worth checking out is the annual updates on search changes. The How Search Works website is updated annually with the latest data on Google’s tests and evaluations of search results.

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The site currently contains data for 2020, a year in which Google ran:

4,887 launches in search results17,323 live traffic trials383,605 quality-quality tests62,937 side-by-side experiments

If you’ve checked Google’s site How Search Works before, this’s what’s changed since you last saw it.

Google redesigns how search works – what’s new?

Google says it is launching a “fully redesigned” site How Search Works. Cosmetically, it seems to be true.

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I spent some time rummaging through the redesigned site and comparing it side by side with a cached version. After trying to find some useful new insights to glean from the new version, I could not uncover changes to the content itself.

To be sure, the content was edited and the wording was adjusted, but there is nothing new to learn from it.

The updated site contains all the same information, it is just presented in a different way. To Google’s credit, though, the changes to the presentation come with improvements in usability.

There are far fewer clicks around in the redesigned How Search Works. Take e.g. The old page about search features. This is what it looked like before:

Screenshot from web.archive.org, August 2021.

As a visitor, you should click on each one of them to learn more about them and then press the back button in your browser and click on another until you have reviewed them all.

Google’s new search feature page allows you to consume all content seamlessly by scrolling down the page. No click required.

In fairness, while I could not find new information on the updated site, that was already sufficient

After writing an entire post announcing the redesign, Google’s Danny Sullivan got the news on Twitter which also made this feel like a major change.

If you looked at the place and thought, “what’s new?” The answer is: not much!

This is the kind of update that would probably have gone unnoticed if Google had not said something about it.

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You can judge for yourself by reading the updates to the How Search Works website.

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