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.

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.


Google Discover is Based on User Interests Rather than Queries

June 28, 2019 Source

Google Discover isn’t associated with queries as it is based on what Google thinks the user’s interests are, so to show up there you need to focus on topics that interest your users rather than keywords.


Google May Temporarily Test Displaying Sites to Users in Different Countries

May 3, 2019 Source

Google will test displaying sites to users in different counties to see if the content is useful for them, so data in GSC may be affected by these temporary changes. You can usually identify temporary behaviour by checking the number of impressions seen for certain pages in different countries to see if it lower than what is typically seen.


Including Jump Links Doesn’t Have a Direct Impact on Rankings

April 5, 2019 Source

Including jump links within a piece of content can improve usability but this doesn’t have any direct impact on search and rankings.


Previously Visited Pages Are More Likely to Be Shown in Personalized SERPs

April 5, 2019 Source

If a user has previously visited a particular page from search results, it is more likely that this page will be shown in personalized search results for them in future. This won’t apply to any other pages within that website that the user has never visited.


Sites Ranking for Unrelated Queries May Be Hacked

March 22, 2019 Source

If a site starts ranking for completely unrelated queries that it doesn’t have content for, it is worth checking what content is being shown to Google, via the Inspect tool, to see the site has been hacked.


Related Topics

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