Google Search Results In 2015

Google Search Results - Big Changes In 2015

Google search results sure have changed a lot in just the last year or two. If you're using structured data markup, have gotten into the Knowledge Graph, or featured within Google's in-depth articles, then you know what I'm talking about. Lately, I've been seeing some really cool search engine results that I want to show you and discuss how you could possibly leverage what I'm seeing.

Specific Information In Google Search Results

For those who know me, I'm considered to be a weather nerd/geek. I love me some weather. Since I'm a sailor and a student pilot, I better at least be comfortable checking weather conditions constantly, shouldn't I? But no, I'm one of those who leaves it on the television all day long for "background noise." It's comforting to me!

Anyways, you can now get the local weather conditions in search results:

google search results weather

Pretty neat! Instant information, and I didn't even have to click through to a site to get what I needed. And that is a problem right there - lower click through rates (CTR) could be a signal to Google that your pages aren't not so interesting after all, so they could be pushed down in search results. A mixed blessing, this instant information thing!

Looking To Learn Something From Google Search Results

Next, suppose you want to learn what "democracy" is? Take a look at some interesting ways Google thinks I want to learn about this concept:

google search results for democracy

Behold, Google thinks I want a definition - pretty good start! Now, look below at two other results on the same page:

more google search results

Notice what I've underlined - the meta descriptions are waaaaay longer than the usual 155 characters, and aren't cut off. Google has decided to sacrifice some space and give me a more compelling description to see if I'll click on one of these. And also notice there are different types of keyword phrases I could click on related to democracy - the underlined ones. These types of search result entries could fare better with higher CTR, based on Google's seemingly random generosity.

Getting Price Information In Google Search Results

Now let's look at some results for the price of something. I typed in "cremation." I don't really know why, except that it appeals to me for myself.

google search results cremationNotice here we get an excerpt from the article above the title and there's no meta description! And it's from a web site that's generally considered authoritative and relevant - The Huffington Post.

Now look at these below that result:

google search results in depthNotice that again, a lengthy description from the article, not the meta description.

Does this mean you should stop writing unique, useful, optimized title and meta descriptions? No, hell no, because you can't control what Google chooses to publish. Therefore, you need to cover your bases by sticking to the fundamentals of SEO with every page, post and article you publish.

Finally, let's look at one small sample of search results for bicycle repair:

google search results There's a lot of useful stuff in this description. If you click on the link, you'll see what's above is a bulleted list of links leading to other pages. Clearly, this guy is a recognized expert on bike repairs, at least as far as search results are concerned.

Below that, I see some local search results:

google search results more bike repairMy last name is McDonald; I'm wondering if this is why Google chose to show me this place that's clear across the Chesapeake Bay from where I live - on the opposite, Eastern shore. Who knows?

What can you take away from this for SEO?

Write useful information and share the knowledge you have on your web site. Do your basic SEO tasks, like optimizing meta data with a chosen keyword phrase. Make sure your local SEO is very strong, if that is critical to getting people to your business.

Here's three ways to get found on Google.

Want to learn more about SEO? Let's schedule a training class for you - take a look at our courses, and let's get together soon!

If you'd rather learn SEO at your own pace, you can now get online training from Invenio.

Until we meet again, stay safely between the ditches!

All the best to you,

Nancy McDonald

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