In February 2021, Google rolled out the “About This Result” panel on the search engine results page (SERP), allowing users to vet their sources of information in this space. After several months, the search giant added an update to the feature that informs searchers why their query turned up a particular result.
While it’s designed primarily to help your target audience find trusted sources and relevant information, the latest Google search results update also bears some good news for brands and businesses looking to increase online visibility.
In this blog, we delve into the characteristics of this new feature, how it fits into Google’s media literacy drive and how it affects your search engine positioning as it becomes a significant part of people’s search experience.
About This Result: What Is It All About?
When you think about Google Search as a product, it becomes easier to see why it regularly undergoes updates. Google is always coming up with ways to enhance user experience (UX), and that includes helping searchers source information from a reliable website or webpage.
About This Result, which was first introduced last February on desktop, mobile web and Google App on Android in the United States, fulfills this function. It is a menu icon shown next to most search results.
You can find it at the upper-right corner of the result, like so:
This search engine results page update provides the following information:
• Domain description: Tells you primary information about a site or page, such as what it is and what it offers – based on details drawn from Wikipedia entries.
• Google site index information: Specifies when the site was first indexed by Google to provide context in case a Wikipedia description is not available.
• Sourcing method: In case of job listings and other information organized by Google in a presentable format, the search engine lets you know how it sourced the information.
• Secure domain confirmation: Informs you whether or not the site uses the HTTPS protocol, a standard web browsing safety tool.
Latest Feature Update
More recently, Google added a subheading called “Your search & this result,” a section that lets users understand what factors were considered in surfacing a certain query result. This addition aims to teach people to make sense of the results and refine their search in case they want something more relevant.
The beauty of this update is that it opens up the opportunity for brands and businesses to examine the relevance signals that went into each result and apply the insights to their SERP ranking strategy.
One of the critical insights the panel now includes is if other websites using the same search terms are linking to your page.
How This Google Search Results Update Improves UX
Think about how the About the Result feature is similar to how the Google Knowledge Graph or Google information box works. But instead of specific topics, it shares information about the sites covering the topics. This allows users to:
• Check the site before visiting
• Get context for their search
• Decide if the information is useful before their click
Take note that Google will also roll out an About the Topic feature, which will showcase top news coverage or other search results talking about the same subject. This is part of the search giant’s media literacy thrust aimed at helping people:
• Prevent isolation within a filter bubble
• Get exposed to and source information from other trusted sites
How This Google Search Results Update Affects Your Website
Let’s break down the panel based on the essential details it outlines for searchers. This way, you can see if your website is ready for this update. If not, you can identify areas to improve on to attract and convert visitors through your About This Result content.
1. Matching Keywords
This version of a Google information box shows prospective visitors which exact-match keywords appear in their search. If your page has snagged a SERP ranking, this means it contains the same keywords searchers used in their query.
While this sounds simple, keep in mind the question of how often does Google update search results and how this affects your search engine positioning. After an update, you might find yourself sliding down the rankings just because Google has found other pages offering more relevant information.
Search engine optimization (SEO) experts advise keeping your content fresh for the keywords you’re targeting. For instance, at Thrive, if an article about top SEO trends that can boost search engine visibility was written and published in 2020, we can update it this year to reflect the changes that have happened since.
2. Related Terms
Nowadays, it is possible to increase online visibility by optimizing for related keywords. In the example “how to cook fish in the oven,” Google says it will also look for pages with related terms like “bake” and “recipe” to satisfy search intent.
You can elevate your Google ranking position by crafting content that tackles related concepts, providing more value to the readers. Or try to leverage a long post by inserting matching and related search terms.
3. Link Building
Aside from offering a domain description and reassuring searchers that you have a secure domain, Google informs them if other sites are linking to your page using similar terms as the one they typed in their query.
This portion is proof your link building efforts are working and bolstering your search engine positioning. If this part is skipped in your Google information box panel, you might want to review your strategy in this area.
4. Local SEO
If your business has multiple locations or caters to specific areas only, optimizing for local keywords like the “near me” ones is necessary. Having a local SEO strategy enables you to target the right people since Google will tag your content relevant to your area.
The more searchers find value in your page and find it applicable to their city or state, the more you boost search engine visibility for your business.
“How often does Google update search results?” is an important question for those who want to make improvements on their About This Result panel information. You want to make sure your updates are reflected in the search engine results page as soon as possible. But the reality is it might take Google several days to four weeks to crawl and re-index your page. Reputable sites such as news sites, however, may be re-indexed in real-time.
While we’re at it, here’s a list of a few changes you can make on your page to improve not just your Google ranking position but also your About This Result content:
• Keywords: Strengthen your keyword strategy by setting up a Google alert for your target keywords/topics, monitoring the search results and identifying gaps in the content of your competitors.
• Offpage: Create a Wikipedia page for your business. But keep in mind Wikipedia editors are strict about entries designed for commercial gain. So ask an SEO expert if it fits into your overall strategy.
• On-page: Craft a clear, straightforward description of your business and/or website and ensure it can pass as a domain description in the About the Result panel.
• Link-building: Ramp up your link exchange efforts and develop content that provides true value to your target audience.
• Local SEO: Generate quality listings and citations for your location/s.
• Security: If your site isn’t using the HTTPS protocol yet, now is your chance to switch up and gain people’s confidence with a secure domain.
Whether you’re aiming to rank for new keywords or monitoring your position for current ones, you can set up a Google alert to check for new results for each keyword or topic you follow.
Get the Result You Need
If you’ve been taking the measures outlined above, you’ll likely see your pages ranking for relevant keywords. You should then be checking if you’re happy with the information contained in your About the Result panel. If not, you can always find opportunities and risks in your current strategy and figure out the best way to move forward.
The goal is to increase online visibility and generate enough interest among searchers. To achieve results that also bolster your sales and revenue, partner with an SEO agency that has experience and expertise in navigating a variety of Google updates.
Thrive is a full-service digital marketing firm with proven SEO capabilities. We have been helping brands and businesses adapt to the changes brought about by dozens of Google algorithm updates, including major ones like the Core Web Vitals and granular ones like the About the Result feature updates.
We conduct thorough site audits and fix high-priority issues immediately, such as what we have done for one of the leading factoring companies in the United States. Our team initially deployed on-page and paid search optimization tactics to improve the client’s ranking and visibility for top targeted keywords. As a result, the campaign delivered a 51.1 percent increase in organic search visibility and a 43.1 percent boost to organic SEO traffic, contributing to the client’s whopping 546.1 percent year-over-year hike in conversion rate.
This could also be your numbers. Check out how our integrated SEO solutions can help you reach your desired results by calling us today.