Google can now list many of the factors or reasons why it ranked a specific search result in its search results listings, the company announced . This feature is an extension of the about of this results box which was launched in February 2021.
Google search may display terms it matches on the webpage and your query, including terms that were related but no direct correspondence. Google also lists if links from other websites influenced the ranking, if the results had associated images, if there were geographic reasons for the ranking of the results and more. In fact, Google has stated that there are several factors that this section can reveal when it comes to why Google ranked a specific page in its search results.
Google also lists search tips in this area to help you narrow your query , if you find that the result does not achieve the desired result.
What it looks like. Here is a screenshot of what it looks like. As you can see in the "your search and this result " section, Google lists a lot of points as to why it ranked this specific snippet. The section above, the "source" section is old and was launched in February, as mentioned above.
What factors does Google show. Google hasn't told us all of the factors it shows, but here are the ones I spotted during tests:
- Search terms that appear in the result . In this case, Goo gle will show you which terms were matched between the searcher query and the content and / or HTML of the web page classified by Google. Matches are not only visible content, but can also be words in HTML, such as the title tag or other data.
- Search terms related to your search . So not only will Google match based on your exact query, but also terms "related" to that query.example above, the query was [shot] but Google expanded it to mean "vaccine ".
- Other websites with your search terms link to this result . This is where sites that have these search terms on their pages and links, actually link to the result listed in the Google search results. Yes, it is clear that links are still used by Google for ranking purposes.
- This result contains images related to your search. Google will also examine the images on the page to determine if those images, possibly the image filename, are on that page and relate to your query.
- This result is [Language]. Language is important and at the moment this is an English only feature, but as it grows Google will be able to show other languages. So if you search in Spanish,Google will be more likely to show you results in Spanish. Or if you search in Spain, Google may also display results in Spanish.
- This result is relevant for searches in [region]. Google can use the searcher's location, site location, and query to determine if the searcher wants to find a more relevant web page for a specific region. In the example above, someone looking in Vermont to [get the vaccine] probably wants to get local Vermont vaccine websites. Sometimes the queries can be at the city level and sometimes the region is not relevant. Google will display these details in this area.
Search Tips. Google will also allow searchers to hover their mouse cursor over underlined words in this area for g and search tips onhow to better refine their search results. In the screenshot below, you can see that Google suggests that search wants to add a minus sign to the current word in order to filter these words in its search.
Google may offer a number search tips that are specific to the query and the "about this result" box for that page.
Deployment now. Google is currently rolling out this feature toUnited States for English results. As this story goes, we expect it to be visible in 10% of US-based queries, but by next week in around 100% of US-based queries. Google has said it will expand this to more countries and languages over time.
Google wouldn't say how many searchers are actually using this feature "about this result ", but it is clear that Google is investing in expanding its feature set. Google said this results feature has been viewed hundreds of millions of times, but will not share the percentage of users who have used it.
Why we care. SEOs and marketers have always wanted to know why Google is ranking a specific site for a given query. Well, Google is now giving you some pretty good clues.illes on why he ranked this site for this query with this new box. Of course, it's not about detailed weights and ranking signals, but it does tell you if the words match or match closely, if people are logging into the site, if there are geo-specific reasons and more.
From a researcher's perspective, it could help a researcher understand why Google ranked this result and provide more trust through transparency for Google and its researchers.