Google’s Eric Schmidt testified before a United States Senate Committee today (09/21/2011). Though the subject was antitrust, former Google CEO Schmidt provided some insights into how Google’s algorithm works.
To give you a sense of the scale of the changes that Google considers, in 2010 we conducted 13,311 precision evaluations to see whether proposed algorithm changes improved the quality of its search results, 8,157 side-by-side experiments where it presented two sets of search results to a panel of human testers and had the evaluators rank which set of results was better, and 2,800 click evaluations to see how a small sample of real-life Google users responded to the change.
Ultimately, the process resulted in 516 changes that were determined to be useful to users based on the data and, therefore, were made to Google‟s algorithm. (emphasis added)
This process goes on year after year. Google recognizes it faces stiff competition from many fronts and providing the best search results is a critical part of their business.
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