Here is what I imagine would happen when I type in a search query in Google or Bing:

  1. The search query is converted into a vector through some pre-trained machine learning models. The vector captures semantics features, etc.

  2. The search engine goes through all webpages that it has ever crawled and computes a similarity score of each webpage to my search query based on the vectors of a query and the webpage. (Assuming the search engine have already pre-computed the semantics feature vector for all webpages that it crawled)

  3. The search engine ranks the similarity scores of all the webpages, and return the ranked list to me.

To me, it just seems that searching through all webpages would be too expensive and I find it hard to believe the searching and ranking are all done in a few milliseconds.

Can someone comment?

  • well, it's not like whole google engine is run on a 10-year old notebook. the computing power of such a tool is pretty high at this age. – user0 Mar 24 '19 at 21:11
  • All I know about google is that they use the PageRank algorithm. I haven't studied the algorithm myself. – Alex Vong Mar 24 '19 at 21:12

To answer the question: No, it does not, because it would be overkill.

While Google shares general facts about its algorithm, the specifics are a company secret. This helps Google remain competitive with other search engines on the Web and reduces the chance of someone finding out how to abuse the system.

Google uses automated programs called spiders or crawlers, just like most search engines. Also like other search engines, Google has a large index of keywords and where those words can be found. What sets Google apart is how it ranks search results, which in turn determines the order Google displays results on its search engine results page (SERP). Google uses a trademarked algorithm called PageRank, which assigns each Web page a relevancy score.

A Web page's PageRank depends on a few factors:

  • The frequency and location of keywords within the Web page: If the keyword only appears once within the body of a page, it will receive a low score for that keyword.
  • How long the Web page has existed: People create new Web pages every day, and not all of them stick around for long. Google places more value on pages with an established history.
  • The number of other Web pages that link to the page in question: Google looks at how many Web pages link to a particular site to determine its relevance.




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