It has not yet arrived in Europe, while in the United States it has already debuted a few months ago and now it also extends the information presented: let’s talk about the feature About This Result, introduced last February by Google to provide users with more details on the reliability of a site before the possible click. Now the small tab is enlarged and also reports a number of reasons why Google has chosen to place the page in SERP.

The Evolution of About This Result

The great and interesting news was announced on the The Keyword blog by Elizabeth Tucker, Product Manager of Google, and is already active for SERP in English in the United States, with the aim of extending its functionalities to other parts of the world in the coming months.

Clicking on the three dots to the right of the URL’s breadcrumb of the result placed appears a larger window, which provides much more information on the results that users are about to view in order to facilitate them in the evaluation on which page could be more useful and relevant to their intent, providing them, as a sign of reliability, a transparent overview of the reasoning that convinced Google to position that result.

Google unveils SEO reasons behind the ranking of a result

If to regular researchers it can be interesting to discover this information, the feature has a very different value for SEOs: for the first time, in fact, Google gives a reason about which ranking factors were taken into account and used to bring out that particular page for that particular query.

La nuova versione di About this result di Google

The ranking factors behind placement

More in detail, as you see also in the examples on the page, to decide the placement Google takes into account these factors, analyzed by Search Engine Land:

  • Search terms that appear in the result

The web page contains the same search keywords and the algorithm has identified this matching between the words used in the query of the researcher and the keyword present in the content of the page. These matches may be present not only in visible content, but also in HTML, particularly in the title tag or other metadata.

  • Search Related Search Terms

The content intercepted the query under related terms: in the graphical example, the query was [shot] but Google expanded it to include the meaning “vaccine”. In short, Google does not only search and reward the exact match, and if you look for “how to cook fish in the oven”, we will also find pages with related terms such as “bake” and “recipe”.

Informazioni sui motivi del posizionamento

  • Other websites with the user’s search terms connect to this result

The algorithm recognizes that sites that have query search terms in their pages and links that actually connect to the result listed in Google search results. The presence of backlinks can also be “a useful indicator of the fact that other creators of online content tend to consider the page useful for that topic”. In other words, it is confirmed that the links are still used by Google for ranking purposes.

  • The result contains images related to the search

Google also examines the images on the page to determine whether, through data such as the name of the resource file, they are actually linked to the content and related to the user’s query.

  • This result is in [language]

The language is important: although the feature is currently only in English, Google will also report other languages in the future. Quite simply, if the query is in Spanish, it is more likely that Google will show Spanish results.

  • This result is relevant for searches in [geographical area].

Geolocation is also becoming increasingly important: Google evaluates the user’s location, site location and query to determine whether the researcher wants to find a more relevant web page to a specific region. Still in the example, a person who searches in Vermont for [vaccine making] probably wants to get local websites with information about vaccines in Vermont; or, if we look for “what is the day of garbage collection?” , it is useful to obtain results applicable to our city or country. Sometimes queries can be city-level and sometimes the region is not relevant, and Google will show all these details in this window.

Giving more sense to information and SERP results

This feature, Tucker explains, is “a quick and easy way to see a useful context on how Google has returned results for your query and to find functional suggestions for getting more out of Google Search”.

When we search for information on Google, we are probably used to seeing so many relevant results in a split second, and “maybe you wondered how Google linked those results to the words you typed, especially if you didn’t get exactly what you expected to find”.

The About This Result panel (accessible by clicking on the three points next to most results) serves just that, and with today’s expansion will show “even more information about your results to help you make sense of the information and understand which result will be most useful”.

Discovering relevant results more easily

With the vast amount of information available on the Web, the article continues, it would be almost impossible to find what we need without help to order it: Google search systems are designed to do just that, naming “to order hundreds of billions of web pages to find the most relevant and reliable results and present them in a useful way”.

We know well that the way Google determines what information is relevant and reliable for a given query is based on many different factors: although it is a complex operation, “Some of these basic concepts are actually quite simple and can be useful for people to understand when they start searching”.

About This Result shows users own information about some of these “most important factors” used by Google Search to link results to their queries: as well as these signals help Google to decide whether a result may be relevant, can also help people decide which result is useful to them, the author says.

New suggestions for Search

The enriched panel will also have another function, infact “it will highlight useful search suggestions to help Google better understand what you are trying to find”, so as to facilitate the refinement of the search in cases where “the results you see in the Search are not exactly what you’re looking for”.

Specifically, About This Result will show the search techniques or settings that we can use to change the search to achieve the desired results.

For example, if we usually search in English but want to find results in a different language or region, the feature makes it even easier to adjust the settings.

Suggerimenti per perfezionare la ricerca

Or, it will help us to change the search: for example, if we are looking for “best jogging shoes”, Google could usually return results on correlated concepts, such as “running shoes”But that gives us a chance to focus our research only on results from jogging-optimized shoes.

In addition, this panel will show us suggestions on how to get what we really wanted, suggesting the use of advanced search operators: for example, we can insert in quotation marks a word or phrase to get results that report exactly those words, or use a minus symbol to exclude certain words from search.

Indicazioni per affinare la ricerca

In the example shown by Google, the user can place the mouse cursor over the underlined words in the box to get search suggestions on how to better restrict the search results. In particular, Google suggests that the search might be more accurate by adding a minus sign next to a word to filter it and exclude it from search.

More context for the searches

Before today’s update, About This Result only showed information about the origin of the content and the security of the connection to the website, while from today it contains a large amount of data on the signals of relevance.

This tool is then configured as another useful way to get more context on the results we see in the Search, along with other features recently introduced by Google, as the warning that appears when the search engine considers that the results are not particularly relevant or for those that are in rapid evolution: all of them contribute to helping users to find what they are looking for and to be better equipped to better evaluate the information they find.

The SEO implications of About This Result

The information shown in the panel are also interesting for those who work in the fields of SEO and digital marketing, and always curious to know the reasons why Google has placed a specific site for a particular query.

Now the search engine responds (of course in part) with a series of fairly detailed clues, without entering into the merits of weights and ranking factors, to communicate if the words match or there are other related terms, if other sites link to the page, if there are geo-specific reasons and more.

Ultimately, About This Result offers an interesting look at how Google determines relevance based on the result, which can also help you orient your optimization work relative to specific queries.