14 Different Types Of Search Results You Need To Know About

google search option

What do you do when a question crosses your mind and you are unable to find its solution? Google is sometimes the most efficient way of finding an answer or solution to your question.

In a world where so much information is available online at a moment's notice, how can you ensure your content stands out from the chaos? Search engine results pages (SERPs) can be helpful for your business because of search engine optimization (SEO) and its numerous technical facets.

When a user searches a particular query, SERP is what they get back. So marketers should pay close attention to them. SERPs are often composed of organic search results, Google Ads results, Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graphs, and video results.

A typical Google search engine results page looks like this:

google SERP

Understanding what users are likely to see in SERPs after they search for the keywords you’re targeting can help you craft more relevant content, and target the right channels.

In this article, we’re covering the type of searches users perform on search engines, and the different kinds of search results that can show up on SERPs.

The 3 Types of Search Queries

Internet searches fall into three major categories:

  1. Informational queries
  2. Navigational queries
  3. Transactional queries

Informational searches

In an informational search query, a broad topic is covered. An informational query is made when someone wants to find out background information on a topic or learn how to do something. Information can be written on a web page, presented through a video, etc.

Information-driven searches can utilize any combination of keywords. Not only can they be presented with questions, such as "How to use a hair trimmer?", but also in the phrases such as "hair trimming".

Navigational searches

Searches targeted by navigation aims to find a certain type of website. In the case of navigational queries, the user does not have any specific interest in a product or company and he has no intention to make any purchase.

The search engine is simply used to locate a specific type of website that he wishes to visit. The user can also use navigational searches if he does not know the exact address or spelling of the company they are looking for.

Transactional searches

Transactional queries are used when people want to purchase something, such as a product from a specific category. Since transactional queries bring in the most revenue, pay-per-click keywords tend to attract the most bids.

So, along with the organic search results, the paid search results will also be relevant for transactional queries.

The format and patterns of transactional search queries are different from standard searches. In addition to words such as "buy", "order", and "download," they may also refer to specific products.

14 Different Types Of Google Search Results You Need To Know About

Considering thousands of searches are conducted every second, it is crucial to know how to improve Google search results. Search results that show up in a SERP vary depending on the search engine's understanding of user intent and the device the user uses.

We’ve compiled a list of the 14 most common types of search results generated by Google.

1. Paid Results

Paid results are the topmost results on the first page of search results. The term paid results refer to those results that are displayed by an advertiser. On the SERPs, paid ads are featured above organic results through Google Adwords and Quality Scores.

Essentially, the "Ad" label notifies searchers that they are clicking an ad.

google paid and organic results
Image from eebew.com

2. Organic Search results

All results that show up after paid results are organic search results, Google presents results that are unpaid and are selected by Google based on relevance to the search query.

Organic results are displayed below the ads and in the additional result boxes (as well as featured snippets, "People also ask...").

Historically, organic results were the blue links beneath the search box. In today's world, organic results are available in several forms. Organic results come from content on websites like yours. But Google manipulates them to present the best results according to what people type in.

3. Featured Snippet

The top organic result may be turned into a featured snippet if it is particularly informative. It appears in a box separate from the list of search results in the SERP. A URL and informative text from the web page is displayed at the bottom of the box.

It draws attention because it shows content that relates to the search keywords. It's more likely that people will click on that link if the displayed information is useful to them.

google featured snippet
Image from Alexa Blog

4. Knowledge Card

An answer to a searcher's query in the form of a knowledge card is short and direct. Using this method, people can get simple answers like “How old is the earth”, for instance.

The main advantage is that they provide the requested information, as well as connections the user may not have considered initially.

Knowledge cards are displayed to the right of or above organic search results. The information here is compiled from internal and external sources (including Wikipedia).

google knowledge card

5. Knowledge Panel

With the knowledge panel, Google provides an overview of particular people, places, or things. There are often images, some dates, and a summary of the topic in these panels.

Whenever people search for historical figures, celebrities, television shows, or movies, they typically get results like this. The knowledge panel is also known as knowledge graphs and they appear to the right of the SERP page.

Using the information from the knowledge panel, casual searchers can learn more about their queries without having to navigate to other websites. Many knowledge panels use Wikipedia as a source.

google knowledge panel
Image from Ilanadavis.com

6. Local Pack

Google displays a local pack when a user searches for a nearby location or when Google's algorithm locates a nearby place equivalent to the searched item’s availability. Users can find images, reviews, hours of operation, and phone numbers by searching.

For example, if you search for "restaurants" you may receive a list of local and nearby restaurants along with their contact information.

google local pack

7. Image Pack

A relevant thumbnail image is displayed at the top of the SERPs when different queries are entered. Google images can provide users with relevant results for their queries if pictures can answer their questions better.

Depending on the search result, this may take the form of a horizontal carousel or panel of images on the SERP.

google image pack

8. People also ask (PAA)

'People Also Ask' (PAA) refers to the questions Google generates automatically after analyzing the queries you have entered.

A search is typically followed by a number of other searches involving similar words. In a SERP, these will generally be shown as Questions related to [search term] or "People also ask."

The content of People also asks (PAA) typically addresses another aspect of the topic or expands upon the original search term. They generally appear as collapsible snippets under the organic search results.

In case you cannot find the information you're looking for, these links from Google offer you an option of searching for related terms.

google people also ask (PAA)

9. Sitelinks

A site link is a special link displayed beneath the main URL of a domain by Google. Links related to your search can appear as part of organic Google search results. It shows up when a person searches for a company with the intention of learning more or making a purchase.

Most of the links on these pages are those that link to top-level domain pages such as About Us, Blog, or Contact Us. These links are displayed when Google wants to help people find a specific section of a website quickly.

For example, if someone searches for Facebook, the site links under Facebook’s main URL might offer shortcuts to pages like the Help centers of Facebook or the Business section of Facebook.

google site links for facebook

10. News Results/ Top Stories

It shows breaking news or trending stories relating to a search query in a carousel format. A search query related to a recent news story or current event will be displayed as a news result at (or near) the top of SERP.

Content from this category usually appears under an "In the news" header that visually differentiates it from the rest of the organic results.

The majority of rankings will be from well-known news websites, but some blogs and review sites may also rank if they discuss a specific newsworthy topic

Under "Top stories," you can see recent articles from trusted news sources about the topic you have searched.

In times of breaking news or important events, top stories provide a lot of useful information.

google top stories

11. Shopping Results

Shopping results appear on a SERP similarly to ads and sponsored results. Google detects user intent within the website and displays a carousel of products and offers that can be purchased. It makes it easier for people to find the products they want without needing to search for additional information.

Most shopping results will only show specific details, such as the product photo, the price, or the seller's information, as well as a rating or location tag (if the item is a physical store item and not an item listed on the online marketplace).

After finding a shopping result, a searcher can click on it to go to the product's page.

google shopping results

12. Twitter Cards

Tweets have been included in some Google SERPs since 2015. The feature displays tweets that are particularly relevant to a specific search term or recent links from a brand. Users who search for trending news stories may see tweets from authoritative news sources when they input their queries.

google twitter cards

13. Reviews and Ratings

Search engine results typically include reviews for businesses. It's pretty simple how it works: A simple rating system is displayed under a search result.

The review is generally linked to the business's Google page, on which customers can leave one-to-five-star reviews and comments if needed. Review results usually appear just beneath the title tag and URL, but just above the meta description.

google reviews and ratings
Image from jeffbullas.com

14. Journals/Articles (Google Scholar)

Whenever you conduct more complex searches in law, science, or research, Google Scholar will serve up a journal excerpt at the top of the SERP.

Results may include details such as the journal in which the scholarly article was published and the number of times people have cited this in their other journalistic articles.

google scholar journal articles

Final Thoughts

The audience you're targeting is currently seeking solutions to their problems and looking for content that suits their search intent.

Your job is to learn and explore what they are searching for and design the content that best fulfills their needs. With this knowledge about SERPs, you can construct a website that will be optimized for your audience and customers.

But crafting engaging content isn’t enough. You need to make sure your content is showing up on search results.

When it comes to boosting search rankings, you need a robust SEO strategy, along with a reliable backlink checker that provides dependable results - making BacklinkSEO the perfect choice for you!

Create a free account on BacklinkSEO today and stay on top of your backlink profile in real-time!

How to Improve CTR in Google Search: Top 8 Tried-and-Tested Methods & Strategies

In a world full of people obsessed with SEO and ranking, be a CTR-loving person.
SEO means nothing, if not supported by a healthy click-through rate. Hence, we have come up with a list of tried-and-tested strategies to improve CTR in Google search.

google search logo
Photo by Lauren Edvalson on Unsplash

Why You Need to Focus on CTR

Before we get on how to improve CTR in Google Search, it is crucial to understand why we respect this metric in the first place. Apart from the obvious advantage of increased traffic, there are probably tons of other reasons to invest in CTR.

Firstly, a good ranking in the Google SERPs is in fact a vanity metric. Let’s pull an analogy to explain our stance. Imagine that you invested a lot to set up a store at an optimum location. However, what if nobody visits your shop for reasons you did not invest in?

Secondly, CTR and rankings usually have a positive correlation. John E Lincoln in a study found that pages with higher SERP ranking usually have a higher CTR as well. When blurted out, the reason is obvious.

average ctr based on serp ranking

A high CTR translates into more traffic and in turn, high brand awareness. We all know how Google is blatantly biased towards brands. Hence, a high CTR rate ultimately results in better rankings and better profitability for your business.

Top 8 Strategies to Improve CTR in Google Search (Organic and Free)

Prioritize your Pages

This is the first and one of the most efficient strategies to improve CTR in Google search. Firstly, you need to identify your potential pages. What do we mean by potential pages?

These are the pages with good ranking in search results
but with low click-through rate

Then again, what is the standard for measuring a low click-through rate? Ideally, you can compare it with your average CTR. However, average CTR is a faulty metric in my opinion. Thus, just to be safe, make sure you compare it with the industry benchmark as well.

Log into Google Analytics. Go to Acquisition. Then click Search Console > Queries. Change the Queries to Pages. Thus, you will be able to see your clicks, click-through rate, impressions, positions, etc.

Now you can clearly see which potential pages are not performing well on the CTR metric. For more accuracy, you can transfer the data to Excel or Google Sheets. After deleting the unnecessary queries, you can then plot a graph based on CTR vs. Position. Therefore, you now clearly which pages to focus on to improve CTR in Google search.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

It’s no secret that long-tail keywords lead to greater click-through rates. For instance, a person searching for “buy round collar white t-shirt online” is already fixated on what he/she will buy. Instead, another person searching for “white t-shirt” is naturally less confident about his/her intent.

Let smaller keywords build your top of the sales funnel. On the other hand, try on-page optimization for long-tail keywords designed for the middle and the bottom funnel.

sales funnel and ctr relationship
Relationship between Sales Funnel and CTR

While doing your long-tail research, focus on the following factors as well.

The bottom line is to focus on your keyword research to improve CTR in Google search.

A Title Tag that Sells

Your title tag is the first thing that a person sees on his/her SERPs. That’s why it is crucial that you invest both time and effort into creating an effective SEO title.

How to Create an Effective Title tag

1. Don’t Fixate on the First Title Tag

Creating at least 7-8 unique title tags gives you the flexibility to compare and judge the effectiveness of each. You can then test your titles on headline analysis tools such as Coschedule.

headline score in coschedule pie chart
Headline Score in CoSchedule

Moreover, you can also use WordPress plugins such as Title Experiments Free to conduct an A/B testing on your SEO title. Besides, you can also ask your friends or colleagues to vote. The bottom line is that your title tags matter. A lot.

2. A Healthy Balance Between Keywords and Emotions

While it is important to include your keyword in your title tag, make sure it is emotional enough for people to click. At the end of the day, positive emotions drive your clicks. Moreover, using specific numbers in title tags seems to drive emotions and help improve CTR in Google search.

Pro-tip: Using a rounded number in title tags seems to have bear more positive results. For example, the phrase top 10 will always have a psychological upper hand in CTR than top 9 or top 11 even.

3. Maintain Word Limit

A cut-off title tag does not look visually appealing. Hence, try to keep the word limit under approximately 60 characters. The actual limit is 600 pixels. However, it is not possible to measure the pixel width of the letters. Hence, using tools such as Yoast or Storychief (the one we use) help you get a preview of the SERP.

search engine result preview

A Click-worthy Meta Description Tag

A meta-description is the second-most important factor after the title tag that motivates people to click. But why is it so important? An ideal meta tag sets the expectation for your website visitors. It works as a quick pitch for your page.

Hence, a well-crafted meta description can improve your CTR considerably.

Here is How you Craft a Click-worthy Meta Tag

Focus on Local SEO

We previously discussed the buyer’s intent. The more detailed or specific the buyer’s search queries, the higher the click-through rate. Hence, if you have a location-based product and service offering, focusing on local SEO is your #1 strategy to improve CTR in Google search.

For instance, you have a car repairing shop in Dallas. To improve your click-through rate you might have to optimize your site for the following keywords.

car repair shop near me
car repairing shop in Dallas
automobile repair in Dallas

search engine results

Furthermore, make sure you register your business on Google. Therefore, given that your page is optimized, when people search for related keywords, your business will pop up in search queries along with exact location, reviews, business hours, and tons of information. If this doesn't improve CTR in Google search, I don’t know what does!

Using User-Friendly URLs

We won’t bog down on details in this one. A single study is enough to prove our point. According to research by Microsoft, a descriptive or user-friendly URL is likely to perform 25% better in drawing audiences than generic URLs. And more audiences easily translate to better CTR.

Setting up an Org Markup (Schema Markup)

According to several studies on CTR, rich snippets on your site can improve your CTR by almost 30%! As overwhelming as the results seem, the stats do make sense. Who doesn't love an expanded search result with a unique appearance?

duck recipes on google search results

In recent years, these interactive snippets have mysteriously taken over SEO, given that they have the exact schema Google seeks. The trend continues. Hence, it is a good idea to start implementing a schema markup in WordPress.

But before you do so, identify opportunities to incorporate popular schema such as food recipes, pricing comparison, software reviews, etc.

Pro-tip: You can never be too careful. Therefore, confirm once in a while that your schemas are functional. Go to Search Analytics. Select the drop-down menu under Search Appearance to reveal Rich results. This will show you the list of all your schema.

Improving UX Metrics such as Site Speed

A good CTR rate must be complemented with an equally low bounce rate. Several UX metrics such as site speed can directly affect your bounce rate, and ultimately, your CTR.

Firstly, a click is counted only when a person visits your page. However, if your site doesn't load, then the click doesn't count. Moreover, slow loading speed might offset incoming audiences. In fact, site speed is directly proportional to SERP rankings, and thus, to CTR as well.

Furthermore, ensure that your phone CTR also shows a healthy number. The fact that more than half of the world’s population is on smartphones at any given time is all the more reason to invest in smartphone UX.

Finally, it is not enough to make customers land on your page. The next step is to keep them around for a while so that they click on to the next page. This is why UX metrics are so important to improving CTR in Google search.

Conclusion

To summarize, optimizing for ranking in SERPs may have started with a clear focus on keywords. However, it has moved on to long-tail keywords, and finally to schemas. A structured data setup can improve CTR in Google search by many times.

Nonetheless, your title tags, meta description, URL structure, and site speed also play a crucial role in increasing your organic CTR. That’s all from us. Can you share with us even more remarkable strategies on how to improve CTR in Google search?


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