|Internet search engine|
|languages||173 (including variants and artificial languages )|
|operator||Google LLC ( more )|
|Registration||Google account optional|
|programming language||C , C ++ , Python|
|On-line||September 15, 1997 (predecessor BackRub 1996)|
Google is an Internet - search engine of US company Google LLC . Consistent statistics show that Google is the market leader among Internet search engines and the most visited website in the world when it comes to global searches . Google processes more than three billion search queries every day and in December 2012 had over 1.17 billion users.
Google is in direct competition with other search engines such as Bing , Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China and has a market share of over 90% in both Europe and Germany .
The precursor BackRub , that of Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University developed, began regular operation in 1996, since September 15, 1997 is the search engine under the name Google online. Since then, its surface has changed only slightly. Thanks to the success of the search engine in combination with context-sensitive advertising ( sponsor links ) on the results pages from the AdWords program, Google Inc. was able to finance a number of other products . However, search is still Google's core business area.
The name Google is based on a play on words , some sources also speak of a misspelling, with the American pronunciation of the word googol . Milton Sirotta , the nephew of the US mathematician Edward Kasner , coined the term in the 1920s to give the number 10 100 (a one followed by one hundred zeros) a name. The Google founders, on the other hand, were looking for a fitting name for the abundance of information that their search engine should find on the web.
Google shows ten search results per page, but also offers settings for up to 100 results per page. The form of presentation of a hit can differ, usually the title, the summary and the link are displayed. A bar is displayed above the results on the results page with which you can quickly switch to other Google search services, such as the maps - news , pictures, video shopping and books search. For some search terms, Google already shows information, news and images about the search term directly on the results page.
Google simplifies the entry of search queries through various functions. When the user types in a search term , suggestions for the term they are looking for are displayed below the typing field. This procedure is called automatic completion ( English autocomplete , formerly Google Suggest ). This function has been available in Germany since April 1, 2009. The functionality is provided on the basis of Ajax technology , which means that no new pages need to be accessed in the web browser for data transfer . Google will filter offensive completions from the suggestions.
In addition, Google offers a spell checker , this provides a suggestion on the correct spelling of misspelled words ("Did you mean ..."). The recommendation is based on a phonetic, fully automated comparison.
Google search is built into many web browsers as standard, such as: B. in Google's own web browser Google Chrome . There are Google apps for iOS , Android and Windows in which, among other things, searches can also be carried out by voice. There is also the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer .
If the user clicks on the Good Luck button after typing in the search term , they will be redirected to the first search result. If no search term was entered, the user lands on an overview of the Google Doodles . Both functions are only available in the desktop version.
In December 2012, Google introduced the “Knowledge Graph”, a semantic search function that provides a detailed view of data and a part of certain search terms such as animals, plants, places, buildings and famous people, but also of factual terms such as spheres or hydrochloric acid the introduction of the corresponding Wikipedia article. In the case of geographical or fixed terms, such as buildings or z. B. Baumarkt München , a Google Maps map with marked location (s) that can be enlarged by clicking on it is also displayed. Similar search terms or objects are also displayed. Google is now also answering simple questions itself. So z. For example, for the question: "How high is the Eiffel Tower ?", The answer is displayed above the first result. The “Knowledge Graph” provides the basis for Google Now and Google Home . The information for this comes from public encyclopedias such as Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook .
The main use of Google is to search for websites, but Google also offers other functions, a small selection of which are presented here:
Pocket calculator : When entering simple mathematical notations such as B. "
2+5(4/5)^8" returns the result of the calculation (= 2.8388608) to Google.
y=x*xgraphs : By entering a function like " " it is displayed in a graph, in this example a normal parabola.
Unit converter : Units can also be converted, for example "
inch in cm", "
usd in euro" or "
l/100km in miles/gallon"
- Address search: If you enter an address in a Google search, it will be displayed on a map from Google Maps .
- Translator : When you enter “Translate” and any word, Google will automatically translate it. Often, simply entering the term without the addition "translation" is enough to have it displayed. If you wish, you can listen to the pronunciation of the word.
- Cinema schedules: By entering "Kino" and the corresponding location, you get the latest cinema schedules for all local cinemas. Information on the film, times, FSK and genre is provided.
- Weather : By entering "Weather" and the name of the city, the weather report for the next seven days appears.
In addition to simple terms, Google search also supports extended syntax. The extended syntax can either be entered directly in the search field or via the menu item "extended search". On the one hand, Google supports Boolean operators and special key terms. A key term is identified by a colon ":". The key terms must not be followed by a space after the colon .
In addition to the keywords or search operators officially listed by Google, there are others that also exist, but do not appear in Google's own overview. A small selection is shown below.
|cache:||cache: wikipedia.org||Only outputs the pages saved by Google. This can be useful for portals with frequently changing content, for example. The link that can be found on Google sometimes leads to a page whose content has since changed or has even been deleted. However, the content is still stored on Google for a certain period of time and can be read there.|
|filetype:||book filetype: pdf||Limits the search results to the specified file extension.|
|info:||info: google.com||Returns information on a specific page. The information consists of the typical Google representation of a search result with a title link, snippet and (sub) domain as well as a series of links to queries with other key terms.|
|related:||related: de.wikipedia.org||Looks for similar sites.|
|site:||Cell nucleus site: de.wikipedia.org||With this key term, the search can be narrowed down to a specific domain, for example if a website does not have its own search function or to search within a top-level domain .|
|@||Searches for a specific word on social networks.|
|*||Largest * in the world||Wildcard symbol that allows any substitute word in the context of the query.|
|""||"highest building"||Forces the inclusion of one or more keywords.|
|-||Apple tree||Excludes a word from the search - only shows search results that do not use the word tree.|
Alternatively, the results for the keywords "In cache" and "Similar pages" can also be called up via a pull-down menu. The menu is hidden behind the arrow when a result is displayed.
The search formulas used can be saved, repeated and linked in the form of the URL that Google outputs during a search.
In October 2011, Google announced that it would switch search queries to an encrypted connection so that attackers in the same network cannot read the user's personal data. In the first step, the Google search via HTTPS should be automatically activated for all people with a Google account when entering HTTP , but users who are not logged in must still enter the HTTPS address themselves. However, this can be done fully automatically using a browser extension such as HTTPS Everywhere . Google uses Perfect Forward Secrecy for the key negotiation for HTTPS requests (ECDHE- ECDSA ). In 2016, the security mechanism HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) was implemented at the google.com domain . This means that unencrypted access to this Google domain is no longer possible. In 2016, the share of encrypted connections to Google was around 80 percent.
The Google website is internationalized in 173 languages . Google offers separate domains for many of these languages , including google.de (Germany), .li (Liechtenstein), .at (Austria) and .ch (Switzerland). The Google interface is also available in the artificial languages Klingon , Elmer Fudd , Pirati , Hacker and Bork, bork, bork! offered.
A Google Doodle ("scribble" or "scribble") is a temporary replacement for the normal Google logo. Occasions are usually birthdays of well-known personalities, elections or anniversaries. The first Doodle appeared in 1998, at that time it was still very simple. Their design is becoming more and more complex, often even the letters are no longer recognizable. The first interactive doodle came in 2010 for the anniversary of the Pac-Man game . A year later, Google received a patent on the doodles. The patent describes a system that provides a regularly changing plot or a company logo for special events in order to lead users to a website. Meanwhile, a new doodle appears almost every day, which is not necessarily visible worldwide.
How the search works
The Google search engine follows the links found with the help of web crawlers and tries to include many published pages in its search index. The pages are broken down according to search terms and keywords.
Google aims to provide users with search results sorted by relevance . The exact way in which the results are sorted is Google's trade secret. Google also wants to prevent non-relevant pages from being presented inappropriately high in the results through manipulation by the provider. These providers use methods of search engine optimization for this purpose. Such an optimization is to a certain extent desired by Google, for example to make the page more understandable for Google's algorithms. Webmasters can see problems on their website that Google detected while crawling in the Google Search Console and optimize their website with the help of Google Page Speed .
The sorting algorithm of the search results is based, among other things, on a patented process that calculates the so-called PageRank value. This represents the link popularity , i.e. i.e. it indicates how well a document is linked and by whom. In addition to the PageRank, other factors are included in the sorting, e.g. B. the occurrence of search terms in the document title, in headings or as anchor text in referring documents. Google claims to include more than 200 factors in the calculation.
Google is constantly adapting its algorithms in order to react to new trends. Important changes were made in particular with the updates Google Panda (2011) and Google Penguin (2012). The most important modification of the search algorithm was the Hummingbird algorithm , introduced in 2013 , which influenced around 90% of all search queries at the time of its introduction. In addition to the link popularity, Hummingbird also rates the connection between the individual words of a search query. This is important because searches are increasingly taking place via the voice input of smartphones.
However, searches carried out at the same time with the same search term do not lead to the same order of the results on Google. For example, Google also includes the location of the user and the language he has selected in the sorting. The search results are also becoming more and more personalized. In the so-called web log, Google stores u. a. the searches carried out and the pages then visited. The aim is to provide more relevant results for the respective user by assuming that someone who has been interested in the sport of golf and related terms in the past, when searching for "golf", is more likely to mean the sport and not for example the VW Golf car .
The approximate number of documents in the web search index for the first seven years was shown at the bottom of the main page. Since the seventh birthday of Google in September 2005, the size of the index is no longer displayed on the main page, because according to Eric Schmidt there is no clear way of counting.
|time||Approximate number of
documents in the index
In addition, in June 2005 there was an index of 1,187,630,000 images, one billion Usenet articles, 6600 catalogs and 4500 news sources. In July 2008, Google stated that it had more than a trillion URLs on the World Wide Web . In 2012, Google was already aware of over 30 trillion URLs, of which more than 20 billion are crawled on average every day.
Manipulation of search results
Because of its significant market position, Google is a frequent target for search engine spamming . The aim is to achieve good positions with as many search terms as possible. These search terms often have nothing to do with the actual content of the page. Manipulation with the purpose of improving the ranking of websites, especially on Google, is known as Google spamming . Attempts to "knock out" competing websites from Google results are known as Google Bowling .
In the case of a Google bomb , the Google search results for a particular website are manipulated by placing multiple links. Google bombs are often used to specifically associate certain people's websites with often defamatory keywords. However, Google changed their algorithm in 2007 to make Google bombing more difficult. The possibility of search engine manipulation in connection with a Google bomb relating to the American President George W. Bush was publicly perceived for the first time on a larger scale . The search term "miserable failure" (in German: "pathetic failure" or "pathetic failure") was linked to his official biography by Bush opponents. In return, Bush supporters tried the same with Michael Moore . However, due to the change in the algorithm in 2007, the biography no longer appears in the search.
By storing the individual data structures (indexes, document copies , directories of all kinds) on different computers and the large number of individual computers available, queries can be answered very quickly, since the parallelization of the work to be done only takes a fraction of the time that a single computer would need. In practice, up to 1000 individual computers deal with every search query. A response time of no more than half a second is aimed for as a guideline. The fast delivery of results had also contributed to Google's popularity early on, as the competition often needed more time. In particular, in the case of incremental queries, that is to say, queries from the user that are constantly refined and who take the previous search result into account, the overall time saving is clearly noticeable.
Google announced in 2012 that the electrical energy required for a Google search was 0.3 watt hours .
A modified Linux distribution is used as the operating system . The programming languages C , C ++ and Python are the essential basis for the implementation of the proprietary search engine software.
The central aspect of all distributed Google applications, above all the indexing of the Internet and the search in it, is the MapReduce algorithm developed by Google for the automated parallelization of work orders in clusters. With this special programming style, the developer only has to implement two hooks , which are called map and reduce , based on appropriately named and similarly working functions of the Lisp language family .
The map function creates a list of intermediate results in the form of value pairs that combine a key with a symbolic value from all input data (for example, the entirety of all websites viewed) in all appropriately designed applications. For example, a pair ('value', '1') is generated for each occurrence of “value” in a text - every time the function encounters the word. The set of intermediate results is then reduced by the Reduce function in such a way that only one symbolic value is associated with each key, which results from the set of all symbolic values for this key in the intermediate results. Using the example above, a typical task would be to combine all (e.g. 43) pairs ('Value', '1') per key into a single pair per key - e.g. ('Value', '43').
The achievement of MapReduce is that all other tasks that are related to the parallelization of these tasks and are in principle repeated for all such parallelized applications are taken over by the framework. It takes care of the distribution of the functionalities of the data and intermediate results and the collection of the results and also includes measures for error handling through redundant or repeated execution, for example if a single computer fails or shows such poor performance that it would overly complete the overall result would delay.
Google itself is increasingly using the algorithm for its own work. After the introduction of MapReduce in 2003, the number of production applications in Google's code library had increased significantly to almost 1,000 within two years. In the central application, the structure of the document index for the search engine itself, 24 instances of MapReduce are connected in series.
Google search embeds
The Google search can be integrated into a website using ready-made code fragments . Alternative Google interfaces from third-party providers also use this option, e.g. B. Blackle , which is supposed to help save energy with its black background, especially when using a CRT screen.
The spelling dictionary included the verb googeln (read: [ ˈɡuːɡl̩n ] "guhg (e) ln") in its 23rd edition in 2004, and the Austrian dictionary also added to its dictionary.
In 2006, Google asked newspaper and dictionary editors not to refer to “to google” or “googling” as “searching the Internet” in order to prevent the creation of generic terms and thus the loss of trademark protection. An influence on the Duden editorial team and on Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary has become known . The Swedish Language Council was also forced to delete the word ogooglebar "ungooglebar" in a generic meaning ("not found with a search engine") from a list of neologisms in order to avoid a legal dispute with Google. In response to a request from Google, the entry in the 24th edition of Dudens was more precisely defined in the Austrian dictionary as “search with Google on the Internet” or “search for information on the Internet with the Google search engine”.
More understandable alternatives to googling in German are, for example, researching , looking up or simply searching .
"Dr. Google "
When Google is used as an aid and advisor on health issues , it is said, “Dr. Google ”. According to the Bertelsmann Foundation , more than half of the people in Germany look for medical information on the Internet. Over 90% of the users are satisfied with the search results, which are often withheld from the doctor they visit. However, experts advise not to rely on search results on Google and definitely to consult a doctor.
Interventions in the search suggestions
In 2013, the German Federal Court of Justice ruled that Google must remove automatic search suggestions (“auto completion”, “autocomplete”) if they violate personal rights as soon as Google was informed of such a violation (BGH, judgment of May 14, 2013, Az. VI ZR 269 / 12). When entering the name of the complaining entrepreneur, Google added the terms “Scientology” and “Fraud” to the search. However, according to a ruling by the Cologne Higher Regional Court, there is no right to compensation.
In a similar case, Bettina Wulff and Google reached an out-of-court settlement in 2015.
In 2014, the Regional Court of Cologne banned Google from combining the entry of a company name with the additional suggestions “fraud” or “suspected fraud” (OLG Cologne, decision of November 26, 2014, Az. 28 O 518/14).
Cleanup of search results
In Switzerland , private individuals can request the deletion of a link if a link appears in connection with themselves in the Google search results. In this regard, Google Inc. must comply with the federal data protection law .
In Germany and other countries, too , Google sometimes hides search results that are not compatible with national laws.
Google cleans the search results of websites with content that is criminal or harmful to minors. Church of Scientology sites were initially filtered out due to copyright infringement . In the meantime, Google is removing all content for which someone submits an infringement notification to Google under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act . It is not known how many pages there are and the extent to which other content is currently being expanded, such as child pornography or politically extremist content. Google's filter technique is also known as the SafeSearch filter technique. This name was first used by Google. Other search engines now offer this filter technology to filter out pornographic and harmful content. The user is made aware of the filtering of search results "for legal reasons" via a message. Reference is made to an explanation that Google was informed of illegal content. Details are linked in the note .
In August 2012, it was announced that Google plans to remove pages with copyright infringing content from the search results or lower their ratings accordingly. The Google subsidiary YouTube is expressly excluded from this .
Right to be forgotten
In May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that Google must remove search results upon request if they violate an individual's right to privacy and data protection. In the same month, Google provided an online form with which users can request the deletion of content from the hit list.
In response to criticism of its implementation of the ECJ ruling of May 13, 2014 on the right to be forgotten, Google has set up an advisory board with external experts from European countries to advise on the development of deletion guidelines. Former Federal Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is a member of the eight-person committee from Germany, which works without pay . Other members are Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales , the French journalist Sylvie Kauffmann ( Le Monde newspaper ), the former Spanish data protection commissioner José Luis Piñar Mañas , the UN special rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression and expression, Frank William La Rue , the Belgian Media law professor Peggy Valcke from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven , the Italian information ethics philosopher Luciano Floridi (University of Oxford) and the director of the Polish Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe, Lidia Kolucka-Zuk.
The Lumen Database , a database operated for Google by a Harvard University institute , contains information about changes to the search index due to court orders.
On some websites, Google programmers hid Easter eggs , or funny surprises. Some become known, such as:
- Some text entries are interpreted as numbers. These include “ answer to life, the universe and everything ” , a reference to Douglas Adams ' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , in which 42 is the answer to the question “about life, the universe and all the rest , ” “ number of horns on a unicorn ”(German:“ Number of horns of a unicorn ”) and the loneliest number (German: The loneliest number) with the value 1, and “ once in a blue moon ” is 1.16699016 × 10 −8 Hertz . With these entries, calculations are also possible.
- Some queries are answered with joke. The English search term “ anagram ” (German: “ Anagram ”) results in: “ Did you mean : nag a ram ” (German: “ Did you mean : nag a ram”). If you enter “anagram” in German, an anagram of anagram also appears: Did you mean: “mama rang?” And when searching for “ recursion ” (German: “ recursion ”) the suggestion “ Did you mean: recursion ” is displayed even though you spelled the word correctly. If you click on it, the page appears again with the same suggestion. In the German Google edition this is also possible with "recursion" .
- Anyone looking for “Zerg Rush” since April 27, 2012 sees small, destructive circles. You let search results disappear from above until the circles form a full screen "GG" (for: Good Game). You can shoot the circles in the cursor crosshair like in the StarCraft game , only this is difficult.
- At the bottom of the internal search statistics Google Zeitgeist 2012 there is a bar in the Google colors. If you move the mouse pointer over it, the Android robot appears and dances in Gangnam style .
- If you enter the word Atari Breakout in the American "Google Images" , the game Atari Breakout appears . You can shoot all image results with a ball. If successful, the next page of the image results follows. If you lose all lives, you start again. The Easter Egg cannot be found in the German image search.
The search engine Google and Google Inc., which initially had very good press after they were founded, have recently been criticized for data protection problems. According to the announcement as part of an alleged “simplification” of the data protection regulations from March 2012, data about users across all Google Inc. services were evaluated in order to be able to build up as diverse a knowledge as possible about all areas of a user's life.
The personalization of the search results was criticized by the weekly newspaper Die Zeit , among others . In June 2011 she wrote: “When we search with Google or read news on Facebook , the network imperceptibly adapts to our preferences. What does this narrowing of the world mean? "
Possible manipulation of search results by Google
Repeatedly, allegations of manipulation of search results by Google are made, but most of them cannot be proven. In internal emails that became public in September 2018, Google employees discussed how, after President Trump's entry ban for citizens from seven countries, they could manipulate searches to direct users to pro-migration sites and show them how to contact politicians and government agencies on the matter. Google denies that these ideas were implemented.
Adjustments for the Chinese market: "Project Dragonfly"
Google was working on the "Dragonfly Project" to return to the Chinese market. Although Google hardly disclosed any details, there were fears that this search engine would censor terms at the request of the Chinese government or give the regime access to individual user data. According to the software developer Jack Poulsen, who was entrusted with the programming of Project Dragonfly, who resigned in protest, if Beijing wanted Google to link search queries from Chinese users to their individual mobile phone numbers within the new product and thus make it completely transparent who is looking for which terms in China.
In a hearing in the US Senate Judiciary Committee in July 2019, Karan Bhatia, who is responsible for government relations at Google, stated that the project has been discontinued. A company spokesman then confirmed: “We have no plans to start a search application in China. No work is in progress on such a project. ”Previously, The Intercept magazine reported that there were indications that changes were still being made to the code for the project.
- Google News , news websites that are accessed particularly frequently on Google
- Google Maps , online map system with the option of a route planner
- Google Books , a search service with which you can search your own digital copies and online books in full text
- Google Scholar , search engine for general literature research of scientific documents
- Google Trends , provides information on the popularity of Google searches
- EU antitrust campaign against Google
- List of internet search engines
- Startpage - search engine that delivers anonymized Google results
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- Gerald Reischl : The Google trap . The uncontrolled world power on the Internet. 5th edition. Carl Ueberreuter Verlag, Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-8000-7323-8 .
- Lars Reppesgaard: The Google Empire . Murmann-Verlag GmbH, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-86774-046-3 .
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