Google launches a guide to understanding search results

With the publication of its guide to visual elements associated with search results, Google presents the components of a results page in images and tells us a little more about the shape of these elements, their names and their usefulness. Something of interest to those who want to learn about SEO…

Composition of a Google search results page

To begin, the guide describes the skeleton of a traditional search results page and the elements that make it up. When you, as an internet user, search for information on Google using keywords, a results page, called the SERP, is immediately displayed. It is precisely at this moment that you become aware of the various information.

The results page looks like this:

  • attribution,
  • the text,
  • The enriched results,
  • The picture,
  • the video,
  • Exploration features.
A SERP on Google incorporates various visual elements. ©Google

Attribution includes site name and URL

What Google calls attribution is the feature that precisely describes the source of a result, which appears in all types of searches: text, video, image. The attribution generally includes the site’s name, its URL, which is composed of the domain name and the breadcrumb trail, as well as the favicon, this small icon associated with the site.

Ariadne’s thread (or breadcrumb) indicates the position of a page in the hierarchy of a website and allows one to find its bearings. ©Google

Text result includes attribution and title link

As the name suggests, the text result previously called “web results” or “10 blue links list” is the textual content of the pages of the indexed websites. This result presents the attribution, the clickable title of a result, the summary part of the search result or the description, also called Extract. The text result of a Google SERP also shows a date when the content was published or updated, estimated by the search engine.

With regard to the group of links called Subpage link group in the image below, it contains at least two subpage links that can direct to other pages on the same domain, to anchors or headers.

Finally, the text content can also display an image directly related to the content, as well as rich results (or structured data), enriched with additional information from the owner of the website or online store.

The textual content of a Google SERP contains a lot of information. ©Google

The image result includes photos extracted from web pages

The images in the search results on Google are directly linked to a website. They are displayed as a result of queries requested by Internet users and are likely to be displayed more in the context of a targeted image search.

The elements present in an image result are: the attribution, which includes the information about the site, and the clickable thumbnail from the results, which leads directly to the site hosting the visual.

Attribution and thumbnail compose the result of an image query. ©Google

The video result shows a thumbnail image embedded in a website

Similar to an image query, videos in search results also come from a web page and are likely to appear more often in a video query.

The elements that make up this result are: the thumbnail that leads to the video embedded on a website, the clickable title link on the video’s landing page, the attribution that shows information about the source of the file, and the date the video was published.

Thumbnail, title link, attribution and date of the video are the main information about the video result. ©Google

Explore features bring you more leads

These features allow Internet users to explore other content using questions or suggested searches based on other people’s requests. They are divided into two groups: related searches and related searches. These suggestions and questions are directly linked to the Internet user’s original request and can be particularly useful if you, for example, looking for keyword ideas.

1. The Associated Research Group

The internet user who writes his request is automatically offered other related ideas by the search engine. They are linked to information sought by other users.

With the associated research group, you are offered new ideas alongside your inquiry. ©Google

2. The group of related questions

Based on the original question asked in the search engine, the related question group presents other ideas and queries revolving around your main query.

Suggested related questions are directly related to the user’s initial query. ©Google

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