Search Queries

A search query is the word or string of words a user types into a search engine and will be used to determine the most relevant and useful results for what they are looking for. Our Hangout Notes cover insights from Google around how they use and understand search queries, along with recommendations for optimising your site for searcher intent.

Sitelinks Will Be Displayed if Google Deems There Are Other Useful Pages Relevant to a Search Query

January 10, 2020 Source

Sitelinks within search results are deemed as normal search results from Google’s point of view, where it is able to understand that if a user is looking at one specific page, there may be other related pages relevant to the query. Something that helps Google to understand this is having a clear site structure, with clear page titles and headings.

Google Display The Most Accurate Results Based on Query Intent

December 27, 2019 Source

Google will try to understand the intent of a query in order to display the most accurate page in search results. For example, if they view the search query to be more transactional they will show a product page instead of an informational page. John recommends reviewing real queries that users are making and ensuring the intent is accurate for the page that is being displayed.

Google’s Search Engineers Can Debug Individual Queries to Understand Rankings

December 13, 2019 Source

Google Search Engineers are able to debug individual queries and understand why pages are ranking the way they are.

BERT is Used To Determine Which Pages Are Most Relevant for Different Queries

November 29, 2019 Source

BERT is being used by Google to help them to understand both user queries and the content on websites, in order to serve the most relevant results to users. John reiterated that, besides ensuring you are creating content that is easily understandable for users, there is nothing specific that needs to be done to websites to make them work better for BERT. Google are constantly expanding and testing their understanding of queries in order to apply it for different languages.

Google Algorithms are Constantly Evaluating the Quality of Content on Websites

November 12, 2019 Source

There are different algorithms running all the time to collect signals about a website’s content in order to gain a notion of the quality and relevance for individual queries. A core algorithm update will not lead to a website being completely re-evaluated but will update the scores used.

Google Omits Pages from Search Results if Multiple Versions of Same Result Are Found

November 1, 2019 Source

The ‘show omitted results’ link in the search results is shown when there are multiple results that would display the same snippet or preview. Google does this as it doesn’t make sense to show users the exact same snippet multiple times for different pages.

No Specific Way to Optimise For BERT Apart From Writing Naturally

October 29, 2019 Source

There isn’t anything specific you need to do to optimise for BERT, as this update is about Google’s algorithms understanding natural language better.

There is No Way to Choose Date Google Will Show For a Page in Search Results

October 18, 2019 Source

There isn’t a way to display the last updated date rather than the published date in search results. However, Google tries to work out which date would be most appropriate to display. This could also be the date when it first saw the page or when it saw the page was last updated. In a lot of cases Google will not show the date at all, as it doesn’t see this as an important thing to display.

Site Quality Doesn’t Impact Whether Sitelinks Shown in SERPs

August 9, 2019 Source

Google will display sitelinks in search results when it makes sense for the query a user is searching for. It isn’t determined by the quality of a website.

Related Topics

Voice Search Search Algorithms Rich Snippets Featured Snippets Penalties Search Console PageRank