how search works, user behaviour data

The most interesting document from the DOJ trial for SEO professionals is the Testimonial of Pandu Nayak and the rebuttal of Professor Douglas W. Oard, providing great insights into how search works.

Kudos to Natzir Turrado and AJ Kohn (Google Enough, What Pandu Taught about SEO) for their fantastic coverage of the Trial.

I think this would be the full list of available documents.

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Testimonial of Pandu Nayak

Pandu talks about multiple ranking components such as Navboost, RankBrain, DeepRank and RankembedBERT. Testimonial of Pandu Nayak

Rebuttal Testimony of Professor Douglas W. Oard

The Rebuttal Testimony of Professor Douglas W. Oard shows some explanation of what each component is and what data it uses.

United States, et al. v. Google LLC

The United States, et al. v. Google LLC presentation offers a very good introduction to how search works, introduces the concept of Head, tail, but most interesting to me “Torso” queries. Also talks about how General Search Work and give example of user behaviour data being tracked.

Eric Lehman Presentation about Clicks

This presentation by Eric Lehman shows great insights into how clicks are used in search.

Life of a Click (user-interaction)

Very much redacted of the Life of a Click presentation, still shows some user behaviour signals. Life of a Click document.

Ranking for Research

The Ranking for Research presentation shows multiple metrics that are used to evaluate search quality.

Eric Lehman’s Testimony

Eric Lehman’s Testimony describe the use of clicks in ranking, navboost, freshness.

Ranking Newsletter

The ranking newsletter offers insights into how search engine views query search intents and how it differs between Desktop and Mobile. See ranking newsletter.

Google is Magical

Google is Magical shows additional user interaction signals.

Logging & Ranking

Logging & Ranking shows the events that are logged in Google search.

Q4 Search All Hands (2016)

Eric Lehman presentation on ranking is found in the Q4 search all hands document.

Email From Danny Sullivan

The email from Danny Sullivan shows how long Google keeps data (6-18 months) and give some example related to personalisation.

List of Top Search Queries Ordered by Revenue in the US

An email from Jerry Dischler to Prabhajar Raghavan was made public during the DOJ trial, giving a insight into top search terms by revenue.

Google’s Response to the Trial

In the Defendant’s Post-Trial Brief response, Google mentions several point including that the court has not proven that Google is a Monopoly and that Search Quality Continues to Improve.

Bullet-Points Presentation to Sundar

The Bullet-Points Presentation to Sundar shows this information:

UPX1044 -Email from Benedict Gomes – Personalization in Search

In this folder, you will find an email by Ben Gomes that talks about how personalization in search does not affect ranks that much.

And about how it uses it for autocomplete.

UPX192 – Email from Eric Lehman on Clicks Prediction

In this folder, you will find an email by Eric Lehman that talks about they are not only using clicks but also are trying to predict clicks with Machine Learning algorithms.

Google Experiment Comparing Bing and Google

The Desktop Search Comparative Research was interesting on How Google experimented on comparing with Bing.

Email: Search Lingo

Email by Apple’s John Giannandrea explaining search lingo.

Microsoft Presentation on Success in Search

Few slides on how Microsoft view success in search. (Document)

Other Somewhat Interesting Documents

Again, check out Natzir’s interpretation of Google architecture linked at the start of this article.

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