In addition to technology based innovations like artificial intelligence and machine learning, Google also uses a group of people to manually assess how well a website gives people who click on the results what they’re looking for. These people are called, “Search Quality Raters.”
Rest assured that these aren’t people at Google manually moving your web page around in the search results because they like or don’t like you. These people don’t directly impact rankings, but rather helps Google benchmark the quality of their results.
For now, let’s dig deeper into a few broad categories of Google’s ranking factors.
The first and most obvious thing they need to do is understand the meaning of a query. For example, if you search for “pressure cooker recipes,” what do you expect to see in Google’s search results? Probably a list of recipes, right? And that’s how Google interprets the query too.
But what if you just search for the word “pressure cooker?”
What would you expect to see? After entering that into Google search, you’ll see product listings and shopping category pages. Google is able to interpret that someone searching for this phrase likely has the intent to purchase the appliance rather than look for recipes in that time.
How does SEO work on Google? Understanding the meaning of a query comes down to language. Google has created language models to decipher strings of words they should look up. They understand that when you type “pressure coker”, that you’re actually looking for “pressure cooker.”