The U.S. Department of Justice has released several new trial exhibits that contain internal Google presentations, documents, and emails related to Google Search ranking. These exhibits provide insights into how Google determines search rankings and the role of user interactions in the ranking algorithm.
One presentation titled “Life of a Click (user-interaction)” highlights three key areas of ranking – body, anchors, and user interactions. User interactions include clicks, attention on a result, swipes on carousels, and entering a new query. Google acknowledges that user interactions are important signals for ranking but also emphasizes the need to use other metrics in conjunction with clicks.
Another presentation called “Ranking” reveals that Google does not fully understand documents but relies on user reactions to determine their relevance and quality. Google’s “magic” lies in observing how people react to documents and using their responses to evaluate them. The presentation also emphasizes the importance of designing user experiences that allow Google to learn from users in order to improve future search results.
A presentation on “Ranking for Research” discusses 18 aspects of search quality, including relevance, page quality, popularity, freshness, localization, language, and more. Google notes that clicks are not always a reliable signal of search result quality and that it requires a large amount of traffic to draw meaningful conclusions. The presentation also highlights the continuous efforts to manipulate search results and the need to keep certain information about how search works confidential.
Another presentation titled “Google is magical” explains how search works and the role of user interactions in teaching Google about the world. Google learns from users through their actions and uses this information to improve search results. The presentation emphasizes the importance of the two-way dialogue between users and Google and the valuable insights gained from user interactions.
Lastly, a presentation on “Logging & Ranking” discusses the critical role of logging in the ranking and search process. Logging refers to the collection of data on user interactions with search results, which helps Google understand user preferences and improve search rankings.
Overall, these presentations shed light on how Google uses user interactions and feedback to determine search rankings, the importance of designing user experiences that allow for learning, and the ongoing challenges and efforts to ensure the integrity of search results.