Anatomy of a Google search result


We at PoLR often find that customers can get a bit confused as to what is where on a page of search results. If you are looking to get an SEO campaign run on your behalf it’s important to know what you’re getting out of it and for that you need to be familiar with the different results. By acquiring a basic knowledge of what the different types of search results are it should be easier to avoid getting scammed by companies who promise page one results within 24 hours (usually they’re offering PPC and not organic rankings).

Organic Results

The basic Google search result that you receive when you carry out a search is ten blue links at the left side of the page. These are known as the the organic search results as marked in blue below. By organic we mean that these sites have not paid Google to be there. The sites on the front page of Google are there because Googles algorithm has decided that these are the most relevant web pages that match the search that was carried out. It is this section of the search results that an SEO company will attempt to get you into.

organic search results

Sponsored listings / PPC / Adwords / CPC
A sponsored listing is what you get when you advertise with Google. Their advertising platform is called Adwords but you may also have heard of it referred to as Pay Per Click (PPC) or Cost Per Click (CPC). To get a sponsored listing through adwords you will be required to select keywords which you would like to trigger your ad. i.e. If you want a listing for the keyword “insurance company glasgow” then you would want your ad to show up whenever those keywords are searched for. Then you will need to agree on a daily budget and the amount with which you are willing to spend for each click back to your site. When you reach your budget your ads will stop appearing.

PPC is a guaranteed way of getting you traffic however it can be expensive depending on the competition. I liken PPC and SEO to renting and buying a house. Paying for PPC will get you traffic but will not add to your sites strength in the long run whereas an SEO campaign done correctly will improve your sites chances of getting regular traffic that won’t dry up when your campaign ends.

sponsored listings

Google local results
There’s more than two ways to get into Google. To help local businesses receive traffic related to their area Google set up the local business centre. It’s free to use and can deliver lots of targeted traffic. When you do a search for a regionalised keyword you will often be first presented with a list of ten local businesses beside a map. These are displayed above the natural search results as seen below.
local business listings

Google base results in organic listings
Google also has a shopping section which is free to use and submit to. Sometimes Google will include shopping results within the natural search results as seen below.
googles shopping listings

So if you are being promised page one in Google make sure to find out where your site is going to show up because as you can see there’s plenty of options.

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  1. Anatomy of google search – good, clear and simple article.

    • jeff
    • 4th January 2010

    hi, you say here that if you are promised page one in Google, to find out where the site will show up. What is the best place to show up in your view and do you promise page one ?