Most business owners who are trying to get traction online are aware that Google is important when it comes to getting web traffic. Few know just how important. serpelements.png Get this... Google fields over 4.5 billion searches on a daily basis. Each of those searches represents a new opportunity for you to capture a client and boost your sales. That is, if you're ranked high on results pages. A search results page is what users see when they type what they're looking for into Google. The top result on a results page gets 33% of search traffic. The next 9 results share about 56%. The first step to working your way towards the top of a results page is understanding the elements that make one up. Below, our team breaks down 6 important elements of a results page to increase your fluency!

1. Sponsored Results

At the top of Google's search engine results pages are sponsored results and ads. These elements are paid placements other businesses have purchased through Google's "AdWords" program. Paid results are usually relevant to what a searcher is looking for but are rarely the best result a user can click on within a page. The hope is that given the result is at the top of the search results page, users will click on the sponsored result to see if it fulfills their need. Sponsored results only cost the advertiser money if the element gets clicked on. They have begun to lose traction over the years given that internet users are getting progressively savvy when it comes to ignoring ads.

2. Snippets

Below ads, depending on what you're searching for on Google, you may run into snippets. Snippets are excerpts that Google makes stand out in boxes above the rest of the search engine results. Snippets typically aim to answer a user's questions without making them click on a result by pulling hyper-relevant content from a site. Given that it can be hard to answer questions by pulling bits of information outside of the context of their broader article, you will usually see snippets when it comes to formulaic results like, "How to Make a Cheeseburger". In the above example, Google may browse a recipe website and extract the section that lists a cheeseburger's ingredients.

3. Organic Results

Once you get past snippets, you're now looking at organic results. Organic results are at the core of Google's search results pages as this is where the top 10 websites that get deemed most relevant by Google are served to users. Google determines what websites are most relevant to user's searches based on a variety of factors. Understanding those factors and tailoring your content to better suit them is the practice of SEO (search engines optimization).

4. Site links

If a user is conducting a broad search, it may be that at the top of Google's search results they'll see the home page of a site as opposed to one of the site's internal pages. When this happens, below the link to the website's home page will sometimes be 4 additional links laid out in a grid that can help direct user's deeper into the site. These links are called "site links" and have been used more frequently as Google continues to update (there is a lot to learn about Google's updates, much of which you can view here). You may be able to see site links in action for yourself by typing your website's name into Google's search box.

5. Graph Box

Depending on what you search, you may see what is called a "graph box" or "knowledge graph box" on the right side of your results page. These graph boxes typically serve topical information on the company, person or place you're searching for. They do so in hopes of being able to quickly answer your questions or to better direct your queries. Graph boxes pull information from Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. They are also used to answer questions asked verbally via Google Assistant or Google Home.

6. Answer Boxes

Answer boxes' placement is fluid but we generally see them pop up a few results down within the "organic results" section of a search page. Answer boxes give suggestions on questions related to what you're asking. If you feel question suggestions are closely related to what you want to know, you can click on them and that will reveal the question's answer. Answers to the questions in answer boxes get pulled from relevant websites in the same way snippets do.

Summarizing Elements of a Search Results Page

There is no understating the value ranking high in Google's search results page can bring to your business. Ranking high means getting the vast majority of web traffic searching for information within your niche. That means higher engagement and more sales. The first step to improving your search results page standing is understanding what the elements are that make it up. To that end, our insight above should be valuable. Take the time to understand what we've talked about and explore Google's search pages to see the elements discussed first hand. Remember, the best way to conquer something is to understand what makes it tick. Our hope is that armed with the information above, you'll be able to start refining your Google search strategy and start getting tremendous value from its search pages! Want to know more of the best information related to SEO, results pages, and maximizing your online presence? If yes, we've got you covered. Check out more of our expert-created content on Search Engine Guide today!

Search Engine Marketing Columnist


Search Engine Guide > Robert Clough > 6 Google Search Result Page Elements You Should Understand