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How Google Improves Its Search Engine within Usability Labs

Updated on May 1, 2013
There are usability labs in the US.
There are usability labs in the US. | Source

The BBC recently posted a video titled How Google Fine Tunes Its Search Engine, which gives an inside look into how internet powerhouse Google improves its search engine. The video is also a smart marketing tactic by Google, Inc.

Video Synopsis

The video, at just over three minutes in length, features BBC reporter Sumi Das participating in tests on a Google product. The video explains that Google, Inc. tests products in usability labs in order to improve the search capabilities.

The reporter helps test the search engine on the Samsung Galaxy 10.0 tablet under the direction of John Boyd, who is the head of User Experience Research for Google. Boyd explains that Google, Inc. measures the usability of products such as this tablet by observing reactions of real users of the products within labs. The reporter goes through the testing process, performing search queries and other tasks on the product under the watchful eyes of Boyd and laboratory cameras.

The BBC Video

Google Marketing Tactic

It is likely not a coincidence that Google allows the BBC into its labs, but instead a smart marketing tactic by the internet giant. The video appears on the BBC Website and YouTube, both of which receive several daily views. With video views comes the promotion of Google. A person who watches the clip learns positive information about the company.

Google shows a great deal of transparency in the video as viewers learn that the large company welcomes handlers of its products into the usability labs. The footage illustrates that public opinions are important to the large company and do play a role in the final product. The company seems more approachable as well by allowing people to see the labs.

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Importance of Users

The existence of the test labs illustrate that Google, Inc. does consider its users to be important.

Cameras in the facilities catch the reactions of subjects as they use the new products. Boyd explains that the company can stream testing sessions live to remote locations to analyze footage further. Much weight is given to users’ opinions about how to improve its search engine and do affect what hits the market.

The BBC video How Google Fine Tunes Its Search Engine is a short video that is full of useful information for anyone interested in how Google operates. The usability labs are a key way that the company improves its search engine. The video is a smart way for the internet company to market itself and illustrates the importance of user opinion for improving its products.


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    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank-you AE for letting me know about the problem with the video link! I added the video again using a different link. It works now, if you wish to view. Take care.

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      A.E. Williams 5 years ago from Hampton, GA

      Very Useful Hub by the way... since I'm reading it so late. Actually, the video "longer exists". Might want to check that ;)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There is certainly a lot to know Martie. Thanks for stopping by to read!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      christywrites, thank you for this interesting hub about Google's improvement. I still have a lot of studying to do in order to understand this god in cyberspace.....

      Voted up, very interesting and well presented :)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks Carol! I am glad the hub is easy to follow and nice to see you today :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I join Billybuc about not knowing anything about search engines and how they work.. I just go on google and search. Very interesting and I always admire my savvy internet and computer friends...Thanks for the explanation..Excellent hub and voting up.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Jeff, when you say 'owning' to you mean the expansion of Google into the social media network field (Google+)? That network is certainly taking off! Thanks for stopping by.

      Axymak, thanks for the comment!

      Angie, I like your nickname for Google, I will have to remember that!

      Michelle, Appreciate your positivity here!

      Ruchira, Glad to share the information that I found interesting as well. Thanks.

    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 5 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Another very interesting hub Christy!. I use google, and no other, because they always deliver. And I'm not surprised by their clever marketing tactics, if you really take alook at what they are doing...., well let's just say I'm fearful for facebook now. Google is "Owning" it at the moment, and positioning themselves nicely. Sharing this one.

    • profile image

      axymak 5 years ago

      Google is the best search Engine as compared to any other on the web.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      A useful hub for giving a bit of insight into the big G … thank you, Christie.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for sharing on how Google's visibility and usability is increased. Wonderful learning experience! Sharing!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Interesting pointers, christy.

      Thanks for the enlighten ment...voted up and sharing it across

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Rcrumple, interesting that Firefox includes that feature automatically! Thanks for the information and for the thoughtful comment.

      Bill, glad you learned from the hub! Thanks for stopping by.

      Millionaire, Yes I took a step back and thought whether there was a deeper purpose for Google. Appreciate your opinions here.

      Janine, You rock! Your support is wonderful, thank-you.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Christy -

      It's interesting that Google would allow the BBC in. Usually, companies are hesitant with the press. I, too, use Google as a primary search engine, as it works well with most sharing sites. I prefer the Firefox browser, as it generally cleans itself each time it's used, unlike Google Chrome and IE that needs Ccleaner to do the job. Great Hub!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Christy! I know practically nothing about search engines and how they work. This was an interesting education!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      I used to use Google more often, but now I just use the one that my browser has which was provided through my internet provider. I find they don't find images very well, and their quality has gone down a bit. You're right, this video is great marketing, and was very interesting as well.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      I also prefer Google too over most nay other search engine as well and also you Google Images quite often; so thank you for sharing this. As always totally enjoyed yet another article from you Christy!! Have of course voted and shared all over!!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks flash for stopping by! I also use Google as my primary search engine. Glad you enjoy the hub.

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

      I do prefer Google over other search engines and I do often search for information by viewing Google images first so thank you for this hub. Now I know a little bit more about the powerful Google.