Whether you’re searching the web for business or pleasure, understanding the results of your search engine query will help you find what you’re looking for quicker. There are clues in the results that can help you identify which links are most likely to include the information you are seeking. Knowing where to look, what to look for and why the information is presented the way it is can make your searches less frustrating and more productive.
Most Google searches are formatted the same way. The search query box is at the top. Directly below is the statistics bar. Below that, in a pink box and also in a narrow column running down the right side, are paid searches. Below the ads are the organic results.
Above this article you see that I have identified six different elements of a typical Google Results Page. Below you will find details about each in alphabetical order.
A typical Google search involves typing keywords in the Search Query Box. However, perhaps you have tried a Google search but didn’t find what you were looking for. Google Advance Search lets you tailor your search by using a variety of criteria, such as keywords and location, to narrow down the results.
Just as a newspaper contains both news copy and advertising, so does Google. And just like in a newspaper, Google attempts to identify which parts are paid advertising and which are to be considered “news”. Google organic results is “the news” and appears based on content, keyword relevancy, and popularity.
Using the newspaper analogy again, Google AdWords is the retail advertising department at Google. While newspapers charge a flat rate based on ad size, Google AdWords fees are calculated based on how many times your ad is clicked. The price of each click is determined through an auction based on the keywords you choose and the popularity of those words.
There are two places on a results page that ads can appear. The most common location is down the right hand column. You will often see ads highlighted in pink, as shown in the illustration above, directly above the organic results. These ads have some combination of high quality score, click-through rate, and price that have qualified them to appear there.
Click and go, or just press enter or return on your keyboard.
Search Query Box
The words you type in this box determine what results you get. For best results, keep your search as simple as possible. Case doesn’t matter and punctuation is usually ignored.
The statistics bar is easy to overlook, but if you’re looking to improve the ranking of your site, it is an important number to watch. It is good to know the overall competition for a keyword as it will determine the difficulty of being found using that word. If you are looking to improve the ranking of your website, ideally you would target relevant terms that have as little competition as possible.