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Anatomy of a Google Search Result

Ever wondered where Google gets the information that appears in a search result?

This post will guide you through the anatomy of that very page and tell you how you can have control over what it displays from your website.

A Google Search Result Page

A Google Search Result Page

Title

The title is in the first thing a user reads in search results. It is the same text that appears in the title bar at the top of your site’s homepage and it’s taken from a piece of code within your web page called the title tag.

The Media on Mars Page Title as it Displays in a Browser

The Media on Mars Page Title as it Displays in a Browser

It is a good idea to have keywords about your business or organisation in the page title however having a keyword list as title may get you listed higher in Google, but it’s less likely to get clicked than a well structured one.

For example: the Media on Mars title includes the company name and lets the user know exactly what we do. Note the important relevant industry keywords such as graphic design and web design.

Google will display up to 66 characters of a page title so write an accurate, keyword-rich phrase in approximately 6-7 words.

Snippet

Google calls the descriptive text under the page title a snippet and users may use this to form a decision on whether to visit your website. The text for this snippet is taken directly from your homepage Meta Description.

The snippet should be written as a concise marketing statement about your company/organisation. It should also include important keywords that will be found within the content of the webpage.

Google will display up to 150 characters for a description.  Once again a keyword list will not be appealing to a user in a Google list of results.

Star

This small icon appears nest to the title and if you click it you are staring that result so if you conduct the same search again it will appear at the top of your search results because you’ve marked it as a favourite.

In this case if I decide to star Messages from Mars, the Media on Mars Blog, the next time I do a search for Media on Mars it will display at the top of my search results. Now content that is useful and relevant to me will appear on top of my search results and as a result get a higher percentage of return visits. This type of grading potentially means that other elements like presentation or design may influence users whether they want to star a particular web page.

Google Places Listing

Google Places in the new name for Google’s Local Business Centre. This is what Google Maps uses to display your location. We went through step by step how to create a Google Places listing in a previous post and it’s super easy.

Google Maps

Google Maps is a free mapping service provided by Google. Your business will show up here if you create a listing for it on Google Places. It’s important to get your business on here as it offers street maps, street view, a route planner for traveling by foot, car, or public transport… it will tell your customers how to get to you.

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