NIXsolutions: Gary Illyes on the Way News is Ranked

Google search engine spokesman Gary Illyes revealed the details of how universal search works.

He also talked about how the various indexes are ranked in Google’s main search results and what role user clicks play in this.

Gary Illyes explained quite clearly why in some cases highlighted descriptions are shown at the top of the SERP, and in others – news, images or videos.


In fact, each of these indexes are bidding on positions in Google’s main search results, says Intermet-Technologies.

When deciding what to display in search results, Google measures what users are clicking on. In the event that a larger number of users clicks on images for a specific request, Google understands that people want to see a carousel of images in the search results, and not, for example, news.

It turns out that Google search results are a lot like an auction in which different results actually bid on the desired items.

At the same time, it is important to understand that this approach does not mean that the Google search engine ranks various web documents, images and other results based on information from user clicks.

At the same time, clicks can really affect which search function will be shown in Google search results: news carousel, block with pictures, etc.

The Google search engine assigns a specific point to each specific result from the ranking index, notes NIXsolutions. Despite the fact that in the standard case the “index” is usually understood as “web index”, Google, in fact, sends the processed user request to every available index: for news, images, videos, etc. And already in these indices, the same process occurs as in the web index, and each specific search result receives a certain rating.

Upon successful completion of this work, the Google search engine aggregates all the results from the various indexes and tries to combine them together in a format known as “universal search.”

It is important to understand that each of the indexes available by Google places bids on the desired position on the search results page: highlighted descriptions, images, videos, etc.

However, some search elements may “insist” on the first position of the results page. In addition, Google has the most preferred positions for certain search functions, such as videos.

At the same time, individual search functions, such as related queries, are most often shown at the bottom of the results page. That is why they are able to place bets on the lowest position.


As an example, let’s say there is a highlighted description offering a bid for the first position on a Google search results page, say 1000. Also, there is a first or next web result that, for example, has a rating (bid) of 1500.

This will mean that the given web result will bypass the highlighted description. However, due to the fact that the highlighted description said that it can bet 1000 and only 1000, and it only needs the first position on the results page, it will simply drop out of the displayed set, because it does not need the second position in the search results.

It is important to understand that the highlighted description claimed only the first position in the search results. Subsequent web results that are also scored will follow the first web result.

According to another Google search engine spokesperson, John Mueller, it looks like the various indexes or content types have their own search engine and, in fact, are reporting the following: “My result is very relevant or quite relevant.” It also uses a kind of super search engine that runs on top of all these separate search engines and brings it all together.