It’s not just Google’ algorithm and approved-SEO practices that change by the day. Throw random searches at Google and you’ll see that the days of traditional 10 blue-inked links are over. And it’s for the better if I may add. Today, Google has over 24 unique SERP features – all of which are built from the ground up to improve the user’s search experience. Let’s have a look at some of the most familiar AND helpful SERP features and packs that Google has in place.
Blended Search Results And Local 7-Packs
To put it simply, blended results are results that looks different from the good old, blue-inked link followed by a description. It was Google that took a major dive into blended search results – pulling data from Google Maps and combining it with local and organic results that are relevant to the query.
In a study posted on Moz.com’s blog, blended search results or packs are the most common local results – with the Local 7-Packs accounting for 81% of their data set. While this type of blended results can appear anywhere from position 1 to 9, they are frequently located at the top-half of the results page. As the name suggests, this pack maxes out at 7 results.
It was in 2012 (announced in May 16) that Google added the Knowledge Graph to its search engine. Composed of numerous features, the idea behind the Knowledge Graph is to deliver detailed and structured information so that the user doesn’t have to compile the information themselves. Here are 2 of the most helpful features of the Knowledge Graph:
Answer Box – Almost always appearing as a gray box, Answer Boxes can be found at the top of the SERP’s left-hand column. As an example, let’s say you typed in “british pounds to US dollar.” You’ll get an answer box that shows the current exchange rate; a graph; and a tool for converting currencies. While Google also pulls data from 3rd party sources, the world’s #1 search engine seems to use data from the Knowledge Graph for the most part.
List Carousel – In the 24th of September 2013, Google released a new Knowledge Graph feature – a carousel on a white background that’s very common for music-related searches. Clicking on a song in the List Carousel takes the searcher to a new search results page with a YouTube box sitting near the top of the SERP.
Local “Near” Results
Another prominent local SERP feature, the “Near” results pull data straight from Google Maps. Maxing out at 3 results, it’s very easy to spot Local “Near” Results as they come with a header that usually reads “(Your Query) near (Location)” (ex.: tattoo removal near Boston).
Google Map Results & Pins
Search results that come with pinned listings almost always lead to a map when clicked. Traffic maps – one of the most common type of Google Map results – always appear in the right side of the screen. As for other location-based queries, the map – including its location and size – seem to vary from one search to another.