Google's principle of sharing its developments with the users in a non-technical, easy to understand language, is displayed once again. The Google team decided to reveal the philosophies that stand behind their search ranking system, that probably are what singles them out from amongst the competition. For starters, Amit Singhal, Google Fellow in charge of the ranking team, talks on the Google official blog
about their interest and efforts towards offering "locally relevant results served globally."
As it is already common knowledge, the company has to
deal with billions of queries that have to be returned with as accurate as possible results. Even if users might get a bit frustrated when the results in their mother-language aren't exactly what they were hoping for, the inconsistencies give developers a better understanding of what is needed to be improved.
The second criterion for the ranking team is "Keep it simple." "Well, as search systems go, given the wide variety of user queries we have to respond to in multiple languages, it is easy to go down the path where more and more complexity creeps into the system to serve the next incremental fraction of the queries," explains Singhal, as to why this task is increasingly difficult. The efforts have to be focused on maintaining the simplicity when they perform certain ranking changes. And this happens about ten times a week, so the team must, under all circumstances, remember this principle every time they change something.
However, the most defining principle refers to the prohibition of all manual interventions. The developer underscores that it is not fair for a person to interfere in the work of algorithms and subjectively choose what is and what is not of general interest.
"The second reason we have a principle against manually adjusting our results is that often a broken query is just a symptom of a potential improvement to be made to our ranking algorithm," says Singhal, stressing once again how important failure is to improvement. The Google associate also promises a future post with some technical in-depth details of their work.