OC logo

OC Libraries

Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Google Like a Librarian: How Search Works

What You Need to Know (Google Like a Librarian)!

Know before you search...


  • When you do a search on a search engine, you are NOT searching the information on the Internet in real time.   You are searching a previously compiled index of information and documents on websites.


  • The search engine's index is not exhaustive.  There is plenty of information out there on the web that the search engine has not indexed for one reason or another.  This is sometimes referred to as the "deep web" or the "invisible web."


  • Google search results and advertisements that appear on the results page are customized for YOU.  Google stores information such as your previous searches, your geographical location based on your computer's IP address, etc.  It also sells this information to its advertisers.


  • The order in which Google search results are displayed is based on several hundred factors, including how many times a page has been linked to from other sites "PageRank"), where on the page your search terms were found, and how often your search terms were found on the page.

The Deep Web

Source: Juanico Environmental Consultants. Invisible Web. n.d. http://www.juanico.co.il/. GIF file.

How Search Works

Source: Google. "How Search Works." YouTube. YouTube. 4 March 2010. Web. 13 March 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs