Earlier, results for all searches used to look similar in a list format – no matter the nature of the search. However, over time Google has evolved it’s SERP to display results in various formations. Upon research, it shows that SERPs now can be divided into broad categories.
• Informative Queries – When the searcher is looking for some information which is not related to any business, Google displays a Knowledge Graph. It displays all the frequently asked question about that topic in a box at the side of the result page. It can also display it in a carousel format. For example, if the searcher searches for movies by Ryan Gosling, Google will show a list of his most popular movies. Clicking on such a result will not take you any link but on another result page for that particular movie.
In such cases, there is not much scope for SEO.
• Brand Information Queries – If the searcher is looking for a particular brand by keying in the brand name, Google will display a knowledge graph panel. This panel contains basic information about the company, like their name, address, company logo, a list of their social media profiles, and an address for outlets, contact information and a link to the company website.
It is quite prestigious for the company to have Google display a knowledge graph panel for a company as it is a mark of the presence and trustworthiness. From an SEO perspective, it gets the searchers attention like nothing else.
There is much scope for SEO in this category. Certain factors affect the chances of a company to have a knowledge graph panel by Google.
- Wikidata – Google draws a lot of data from the Wikidata. Wikidata is an information repository with specific and brief information of the company. So by being on Wikidata, it increases the chance of your business having a panel by Google.
- Wikipedia – Wikipedia provides a chunk of information displayed by Google; like the company description and website link. It is advisable to have a professional Wikipedia editor write a page Wikipedia page for your business which will include the website so that increases the chance of your business to have a knowledge graph panel.
- Schema markups – These are a bunch of HTML codes embedded in the web page, invisible to a visitor. These are intended to be picked up by web crawlers, browsers, and search engines. The markups should include the links to your Wikidata and Wikipedia page, the company logo, contact information, etc. to provide information for the knowledge graph panel.
- Verified Social Media Account – You must have noticed the small blue tick next to a company profile on various social media platforms. These blue ticks indicate verification by the social network the account to be official and authentic. It then gets picked up by Google. Different social networks have different procedures to verify an account.
Ads are a good way to get your site displayed at the top and draw attention. However, there is a cost involved for that, and it’s not organic.
• Ads can be in the form of AdWords. All you have to do is have an account with them and choose a format. However, this is costlier than other methods. These are displayed in blocks all across the page between organics search results.
• Google Ads can be cheaper than AdWords, but their policies and guidelines can be a lot complicated. These two appear in blocks but at the right side of organic results
• Google Flights and Hotel Ads are another two types of ad results. Both appear in the knowledge graph panel. While on Google Flight it gives you flight listings to choose from on Hotels Ads, you can directly book a hotel direct from SERP. To get featured in flight ads you have to get in touch with ITA while for hotel ads you have to contact Google team.
• Local Listing – this works for if you are looking for a particular business in a city. Example: Movie Theatre in Dublin. It comes in a pack of three, based on where you are searching from. Clicking on any of those results gives you the Google map and the extended details of the business.
Two ways to elevate your chances of appearing on this listing is to have your business added to Google My Business and to have good reviews.
• Local Knowledge Graph Panel – This is much like a knowledge graph panel with a different set of information in this panel. It is more particular about giving the searcher a company’s location. Hence, in addition to the link of Google reviews of the companies, it also includes a map with a pin, link to Google map and the company’s contact details. Apart from being on Google My Business and having good reviews, it will help your business’s chances if you are listed on relevant business directories as Google gathers information from those.
• Travel Details – Google provides a travel box with Google map and time required to get from a place to another on various modes of transport for queries regarding traveling from one location to another.
• Rich Questions – These are direct questions that are searched. Google mostly provides links for text only content on websites.
The key to appearing on these results is to ensure that you research commonly asked questions and their keywords. Including the question itself in your content will give your site a direct hit. Schema markups help in this too.
As has been discussed above in detail, organic results are the ones that appear in Google results when a searcher looks up a particular topic, without having to pay. It is where SEO concentrates. Google SERP has evolved in their field to where it no longer gives everyday listing but provides results in a structured manner.
Organic results come in various forms:
• Regular – This is the regular list that appears on Google with the link to the website. With SEO and schema markup you ensure that your website appears higher on the SERP.
• Social Listings – This appears in case of individual searches. These days it appears with a section for tweets being displayed.
• Google News – This appears in a block within the organic results, with up to three links for the news article. Quality content is the key here. You can directly become a Google News publisher by following their guidelines. Alternatively, you can have your content published by already renowned news sites to be featured here.
• Videos – Just like social listing or Google news this appears along with organic results – with a thumbnail. Key to appear here is to have your video on YouTube. Using keywords in the title of the video goes a long way. Getting visibility with likes and shares is important to promote your video so that it climbs up Google ranking.
• Images – Image results appear at the higher side of organic SERP which are linked to Google Images.
Having a unique image with the size optimized where it is aesthetic but not a large file helps it be picked up by Google. Keep the image title specific, clear and relevant to the topic. Using keywords would be an even better option. The content of texts of the web page is also considered by Google algorithm, so it will help to include the keywords in the content and the URL of the web page.
Take help from this link https://www.link-assistant.com/news/serp-guide.html for above two headings