NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – A lot of times our blog focuses on reaching a top Google ranking for your business, but our readers also have many questions about how Google works. Google, the Web search and indexing giant, is secretive with its algorithms and its data centers. Every day this incredible network indexes 20 billion Web pages and answers more than 3 billion search queries. People also use Google daily for email, maps, AdWords, analytics and YouTube videos. All of that computing power requires a lot of space, hence Google’s enormous data centers.
Google Data Centers
Google has U.S. data centers in The Dalles, Ore., Council Bluffs, Iowa, Douglas County, Ga., Lenoir, N.C., Berkeley County, S.C., Mayes County, Okla., and international data centers in St. Ghislain, Belgium and Hamina, Finland. Smaller data centers are spread across the globe to help bring information to your fingertips at an insanely fast rate.
On Oct. 17, Google unveiled stunning photographs of these few data centers to the world, allowing users to sneak a peak at the heart of the Internet.
Wired Magazine contributor Steven Levy got to visit the server floor, known as “the floor,” of the Lenoir data center.
“But now we enter the floor,” Levy writes. “Big doesn’t begin to describe it. Row after row of server racks seem to stretch to eternity. Joe Montana in his prime could not throw a football the length of it.”
Many reporters, SEO companies and technological enthusiasts have tried to answer how many servers Google runs with general answers coming in at “hundreds of thousands.” Levy reports during his October visit that the Lenoir center was running 49,923 servers.
Levy explains that his trip inside the Lenoir center may not be as transparent as he thought. Google will likely update the computer cluster design and other features of the data centers, according to Google’s Senior Vice President of Technical Infrastructure Urs Hölzle.
“Once our people get used to our 2013 buildings and clusters, they’re going to complain about the current ones,” Hölzle tells Wired readers.
How Users Search Google
SEOmoz shares the three most common types of searches – transactional queries, informational queries and navigation queries. Users perform transactional queries to meet a need, such as buying a movie ticket or watching a music video. Users perform informational queries to answer a question or gain knowledge, such as looking up a state capitol or a local restaurant. Users perform navigation queries to find a specific website, such as searching for Twitter or National Public Radio.
You can probably see how most search queries fall into one of these categories. And now for the practical side of the question: How far down the search results page are users venturing? The answer is not very far.
SEOmoz also shares a 2011 study from Slingshot SEO revealing how important it is to rank well for your desired SEO keywords. The findings show the top organic search result claims approximately 18 percent of all click-through traffic. (Click-through rate describes how many clicks the link gets divided by its impressions, or the number of times it is shown.) The second organic search result averages a 10 percent click-through rate, and the third a 7 percent rate. Any link appearing at the number 5 spot or lower receives less than 2 percent of all possible traffic.
This shows that most users will try the top few search results, and if they don’t find what they need they will rephrase their searches. It’s not likely that your potential customers will wade through pages of search results to find you, therefore, it’s imperative to be at the top.
How You Can Get Your Business to the Top of Google
Good SEO takes a lot of time and energy. You can rely on an expert SEO service to handle your optimization needs while you focus on your business, or you can elect one member of your team to learn introductory SEO. Our team offers comprehensive SEO packages and SEO coaching to meet a wide spectrum of needs.
Visit our tutorial on how to jumpstart your SEO efforts for actionable steps you can take today to improve your site’s Google ranking. This comprehensive guide will get you started on your journey to the top of Google.
We want to know what steps you’ve taken to optimize your website and how you’ve measured your success. What tips have helped you rank well on Google?