Google recently enhanced a useful tool on its Search Engine Results Page in the USA. The ‘About This Result’ panel now provides more details about the search result and which result will be most useful. It can be accessed by clicking on the three dots shown next to most results and this is likely to be rolled out to more countries over the coming months.
The panel recently started showing searchers information about some of the most important factors used by Google Search to connect results to their queries. Because just as these factors help Google decide if a result may be relevant, they may also help people decide what result is useful for them, as sometimes the results seen in Search might not be quite what the user is looking for.
So there are now also some visual indications of some of these relevancy factors on the results page. These include:
Matching keywords: A simple but important factor Google uses to determine if information is relevant, is when a webpage contains the same keywords as your search.
Related terms: Google also looks for terms that their system has determined are related to the words in the searcher’s query. If a user searches “how to cook fish in the oven,” Google also looks for pages that have related terms like “bake” and “recipe.”
Looking at links: When other pages link to a page using similar words as the query, that page might be relevant to the search. It can also be a helpful indicator of whether online content creators tend to regard the page as useful for that topic.
Local relevance: Google’s systems also look at factors like the language being used to search, as well as the country and location, to deliver content relevant for an area. For example, if you search “what day is rubbish picked up?,” it’s helpful to get results that are applicable to the local city or state.
‘About This Result’ now shows the searcher tips on how to get to what they really wanted. For example, quotes can be put around a word or phrase to get results that mention those words exactly, or use of a minus sign will exclude certain words from a search.
This new tool, which began appearing in the USA in July, is another helpful way to get more context about the results being seen on Search. It will roll out to other countries in the following months.