Google Search Results Explained

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The search engine results page or SERP are the pages that Google, Bing and other search engines show in response to  a users search query. On the Google search engine results page you will generally see four different sections of results:

  • Product Ads (these may or may not display depending on what kind of search terms you’re using)
  • Paid Ads (typically one to three at the top and/or at the bottom of the page)
  • Local Business Listings (these may or may not display depending on what kind of search terms and geographic signals or indicators)
  • Organic Results

The results below are based on search results for ‘Office chair in St. Louis’ to illustrate each section:

Google Search Results Explained

1). Google Product Shopping Ads – (Paid Ads to Google)


Google shopping image results

2). Google Ads – (Paid Ads to Google)

Google Ads are just that – paid advertisements on Google. Google Ads appear at the top of the search results page. You can decipher which results are ads by the word ‘ad’ listed on the top left, next to the search listing. These ads appear because advertisers run Google Ad campaigns to appear based on certain keyword searches related to their business or industry. Advertisers will bid on certain keywords to have their clickable ads appear at the top of the search engine results page.

Paid Google ads

3). Local Business (Pack) Results – (No Cost from Google)

Local Pack Results will show three different Google business listings that are local to you based on your search. Google will pull these three businesses from Google My Business and show you the ones it thinks are the most relevant to your search, but these may not necessarily be closest to your approximated location. The local pack is a great way to gain exposure to potential clients as it often displays towards the top of the page and can feature images as well as aggregate review counts. Ensuring that your Google My Business listing is active it (that it has ongoing posts) and up-to-date is key to helping your business gain more visibility. A great way to gain more exposure is to fully complete your listing. This includes:

  • Business Name (that matches your website)
  • Business Address
  • Hours of Operation
  • Phone Number
  • Business Categories
  • Services
  • Industry-Specific (such as In-store pickup, delivery, etc…)

Local pack results on Google

4). Organic Results – (No Cost from Google)

Organic search results are non-paid results that appear below the paid ads on someone’s search engine results page. Unlike Google Ads, which are created based off keyword bidding, organic results are a product of high quality content pages from your website. The first page of Google search receives over 90 percent of all search traffic. This means that creating high quality content on your website, with rich and relevant keywords, is very important. While running ads can have more of an immediate appearance and possible response from users, getting ranked on Google can take time. However, users tend to see more value in being ranked organically over paid ads.

Organic search results on Google

Google Ads and organic search are both great ways to gain exposure online. Having rich website content and updated Google Business listings can help boost your search engine page rankings without having to have a huge budget to get yourself in front of users online.

If you need help with SEO, starting a Google Ad campaign or updating your Google Business listing, give our team a call today!