The Google search results have evolved, adding different elements to them to help people find what they are looking for. This can result in certain search results displaying different types of information, which can then change the way people interact with the search results outside of the normal 10 organic results.
These can include various types of ads and rich snippets, each presenting a different opportunity to get your website on the search results page. We’re going to take a look at what these are and what it can mean when looking to position yourself in these search results.
Organic search results
These are the normal search results that you will see, normally 10 links showing the title of the page and a brief description of what you can expect from the website.
Things to look for, searcher intent, what sort of search results are they returning, are they research-based, transactional? Depending on the search results that show will determine the type of content you will need to position yourself there.
Google search ads
These are paid search result, you will see up to 4 at the top of the page and up to 3 at the bottom of the search results. They look almost identical to the organic search result, with a little Ad label by the top of them.
You would normally use these where you are looking for people to convert or get people on the path to covnerting This can range from buying a product, contacting you about your services or even them signing up for your newsletter.
These ads show based on the searches you want them to show for and you pay everytime your ad is clicked on.
To have your website show in the Google ads positions, you will need to set up a Google Ads Account.
Google shopping ads
These are also paid results that work in a similar way to the Google search ads, but are shown differently on the results page. They will show an image, name, price and website the product is available on and when clicked will take you to that product page.
These are normally seen at the top of the search page above the organic results or on desktop, they can be shown to the right of the page. These types of ads are there specifically for ecommerce website to sell products and are created from the product information on your website.
To have your website show in the Google ads positions, you will need to set up a Google Ads Account. You will also need to set up a Google Merchant Centre account and import your product data into it.
Featured snippets are normally shown as the first organic result on the page. They differ from the normal organic results by being highlighted in a box.
This type of result tries to answer the searchers query in the search results showing the showing a relevant piece of information and the source website.
This normally shows for simple information based searches that can be summed up in a paragraph or less, such as the age of a famous actor.
When these are results appear, it is the number one organic result on the page that’s used as the featured snippet.
This is a result that shows to the right-hand side of the search results. This type of result normally shows when searching for a specific company. This will show more information about the business including phone number, business hours, reviews, photos as well as more.
To be shown here you will need to add your business to a Google My Business listing. If you search for your own company and see your listing, you should be able to claim the listing.
Map pack results
These are a rich snippets. This result is a map, normally showing 3 business locations, with some business details such as address, phone number, review rating. On each location is the option to get directions to the business location and a link to the website (where applicable).
These results are for more local based searches or searches with local intent, such as when searching for a restaurant. The businesses in the map results are based off a number of factors including the proximity to the searcher, reputation of the business (reviews and review rating).
To be shown here you will need to add your business to a Google My Business listing.
Some search results will have video suggestions in there. These can show at any point within the organic search results.
Videos in the results can show for a number of reasons, particularly for how-to information based searches. If you see videos in the search results, it’s worth having a blog with a video that covers the searched topic thoroughly with actionable, useable information.
For your videos, it is worth making sure the video has lots of information as well as marking it up using video schema mark up.
People also ask
Some search results will have ‘People Also Ask’. These are a set of expandable questions with an excerpt from the website that answers the question. They are normally shown in clusters of 3 and can appear anywhere within the results, though normally show below the first few organic results.
These People Also Ask questions will be related to the initial search query and the often come from FAQ pages. It is worth using FAQ schema mark up to help you have a chance of showing for these.