The Ultimate Guide to Google Search Results for Small Businesses

Searching for information through Google involves more than typing in a query and clicking the first hit that comes up. Google has many valuable built-in elements that help users better understand their search results. Knowing what these components are and their purposes is key to getting your web pages at the top of Google results.

But what are Google search results, and how do you improve your rankings in these results? 

This article will uncover the basics of Google search results, the different types of Google results, and the anatomy of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Here’s a summary of what we’ll discuss:

  • What are Google results?
  • Anatomy of the search engine results page
  • Types of Google results
  • 8 tips for getting better Google search results

Before we dive in, join our community of 200,000 marketers to receive insights, the latest trends, and best practices to improve your ranking position on Google Search Results. 

What are Google results?

Google results are the standard listings that display web pages relevant to a particular search query. Google algorithms rank these results by relevance, allowing users to sort them by newest or oldest. 

Depending on the nature of the search query and the information that Google finds, a Google search result may include a knowledge graph, a featured snippet, an answer box, photos, shopping results, and more.

Google’s approach to search

Google’s goal is to make all of the world’s information easily searchable and valuable to its users. That’s why search makes it simple to find content across different domains.

Here are the core components of Google’s approach to search:

  • Relevancy and reliability: Google uses automated systems to ensure that users get the most relevant and reliable information for their queries, considering factors like page content, source expertise, language, location, and query words.
  • Information accessibility: Google strives to make the world’s information as universally accessible as possible by delivering a broad range of information through various sources.
  • Useful presentation: Search results appear as more than just web pages — Google also displays information in the form of images, maps, videos, news, and more.
  • Privacy protection: Google uses data to make search results more helpful for users. The search engine keeps this data secure and protected with an advanced security infrastructure and custom privacy controls.
  • Applicable ad display: Paid ads do not factor into Google’s search algorithm and only display if relevant to a search query. 
  • Content creator support: Google supports creators by recommending business addresses, phone numbers, and websites of all sizes through the search results.

In addition, Google’s goal is to make all of the world’s information easily searchable and valuable to all its users. That’s why search makes it simple to find content across different domains.

Anatomy of the Google search engine results page

Before generating the best Google search results for your query, you must first understand the main components of the SERPs.

A list of Google search result features

Every time a user enters search terms into Google, they see the following elements on the results page:

  • Title tags: The first thing a user is likely to notice is the blue text associated with each web page that appears in the SERPs. These are called title tags, which serve as headlines that summarize the page’s content.
  • URL: Page URLs are web addresses that specify a web resource’s location on a computer network and how to retrieve it. URLs appear underneath title tags.
  • Snippets: Snippets are the text positioned underneath each URL and serve as a short page description containing relevant information to the search. These can either be pre-written meta descriptions or text that Google automatically sources from contextual information on the page.
  • Sitelinks: Sitelinks are sub-listings that appear underneath the first search result. Users can click on these links to go directly to the designated pages.
  • Searches related to: This section displays the top search queries related to a user’s search.

The goal is more commonly to deliver information in search results without the user having to click a result. That’s why it’s essential to understand all SERP elements and how they substantially impact search engine optimization (SEO).

Types of Google results

Aside from the basic components of Google search results, there are many SERP features you should know to improve your ranking positions in Google search results. Some of the primary types of Google results you’ll encounter include:

  • Organic listings are the most common features within the SERPs. The Google algorithm ranks these search results and comprises websites ordered based on their relevance to a user’s keyword search.
  • Paid advertisements are search ads marked with a green “Ad” symbol that appears at the top and bottom of the SERPs. You can run these ads for keywords that indicate a user’s intention to convert.
  • Featured snippets are text boxes near the top of the page that answer a user’s search query in a short, concise response. The information in these snippets is pulled from Google’s organic listings.
  • Knowledge graphs are boxes that appear on the right side of the screen and display basic information about a person, place, event, or company. Knowledge graphs often appear in general search queries and come from sources like Wikipedia.
  • People also ask (PAA) box displays common questions about the topic a user is researching. Clicking on PAAs provides users with short answers and a link to the source.
  • Video results are a collection of videos, typically from YouTube, that some queries generate related to a particular search.
  • Answer boxes appear when a user asks a common question containing public domain knowledge to provide a straightforward answer.
  • Showcase shopping ads display results from multiple brands to show consumers options for types of products to buy and where to buy them.

Simply put, Google considers various signals and factors to provide users with the most relevant results. These include the words used in the user’s query, the pages’ quality and usefulness, the sources’ credibility and authority, and the user’s physical and contextual location.

Improve your ranking positions in Google Search Results with WebFX

Now that you have a basic understanding of Google search results, it’s time to get your website to the top of the SERPs with the aid of the best SEO services

Our expert markets, developers, and designers have the knowledge and skills to boost your business’s online presence and get your web pages in front of relevant traffic.

Contact us online to speak with one of our experts about how we can help maximize your site’s ranking power!

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