Google Offers Rare Peek Into Web Searches

Google Inc offered a detailed glimpse into its secret process of ranking Internet websites Monday, publishing for the first time a list of recent tweaks to its closely guarded search algorithm.

While less than revelatory, the details published on Google's official blog mark a departure for the Internet search leader, as antitrust regulators investigate claims that the company's search process might be biased toward its own business and operations.

Google makes about 500 changes to its search formula every year. In Monday's blogpost, it described 10 recent changes ranging from how it treats Web searches in less-common languages -- such as Swahili -- to refinements around the way it displays results.

For a rundown of the changes, click:

Google has outlined tweaks to its search methodology previously, but Monday's blogpost is the first time it has offered this level of detail on a series of adjustments.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which investigates violations of antitrust law, is looking into complaints that Google's search results favor the company's other services, among other issues.

Analysts say Google, which runs an estimated 69 percent of Web searches worldwide, can make or break a company depending on its search ranking.

Google hired 12 lobbying firms this summer in the wake of the FTC probe, after previously hiring six other lobbying firms. (Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Richard Chang)