Google’s results explained

What Google displays in its search results

A very common question that people often ask me is “What are the differences in the results that Google displays?”. This answer to this question, is the very essence of what a good online marketer should explain to his/her potential client, as the results that Google displays for search queries are extremely important to understand. In this post, I will explain the different search results that Google displays, so that you have a basic understanding of this.

Paid Google advertising vs Organic results

It is important to note that when a user searches for something, Google displays certain results where advertisers have paid to show their adverts in the results, and Google also shows results which are not paid for. The paid-for results, are actually advertisements that advertisers have targeted that particular search result. To give you a better understanding, have a look at the below image:

Ads vs SEO results

When you search on Google, the results on the right-hand side, and at the top are the paid for results (ie advertisers have paid to have these results there). When you click on the advert, you will then be taken to the advertisers website, and the advertiser will pay Google for this click. The amount that they pay, is based on an auction, and is set-up with something called Google Adwords (I wont delve too much into how much they pay etc, that is for a separate post), but it is important to understand simply that these are paid-for results.

The first result underneath these paid for results, is what is called the “Top Organic result”. This result is not paid for, but is this result is what Google considers to be the MOST RELEVANT result for a particular search query.

To view this with a practical example, consider the below image :

adwords compared to seo results

In the above image, the user searched for “Myrtle Beach home inspection” and Google returned the results. The top 3 results and the results on the right hand side are all paid adverts (you can see the image saying “Ad” next to these results. The top organic result (ie Not paid for) us the result from a website called “”.

You will also notice in the above image, that Google displays whats called “Local reults” where certain companies show up with their name, address and telephone number. These results I will not be covering in this post, but, at a basic level, these results are taken from the relevant companies Google Plus page. I will cover the local results a bit more in a separate blog post.

I hope that this information has helped you get a better understanding of the Google search results, and most importantly, the clear difference between the paid-for and non-paid for results that Google displays for all search queries.