Google is expanding the ‘About This Result’ panel with information about what factors went into ranking a page in search results.
Starting today, when viewing an About This Result panel, searchers will get even more information about the results they’re seeing to help them make sense of which one might be most useful.
That’s what it offers to regular searchers, but to SEOs it offers unique insight into which ranking factors went into surfacing a given page for a given query.
Here’s an example of an updated About This Result panel for the query “how to cook fish in the oven”:
Underneath the “Your search & this result” heading you can see why a page was ranked for that query.
In the example above Google surfaced that specific page due to the following factors:
- It matched words in the query with words on the page.
- It matched words related to the query with words on the page.
- The content of the page is in the same language as the submitted query.
- The searcher’s location in the United States made the page particularly relevant.
In addition to highlighting matching terms, related terms, and local relevance, the updated About This Result panel can also display information about inbound links.
Here’s another example where you can see the panel telling the searcher: “Other websites with your search terms link to this result.”
The header image of this article shows another version of an About This Result panel, which mentions the page’s images were used as a relevance factor.
Google’s pitch to searchers is that this information can be used to refine one’s query to get better results.
For everyday users this panel offers techniques and settings that can be used to modify searches to get more relevant webpages.
From Google’s announcement:
“For example, if you usually search in English, but want to find results in a different language, or from a different region, About This Result makes it even easier to adjust your settings.
You may even want to adjust your search. Imagine you search for “best jogging shoes.” While it’s usually helpful for Google to return results about related concepts, in this case “running shoes,” you’re really after shoes that are optimized for jogging.
About This Result will show you tips for how you can get to what you really wanted. For example, you can put quotes around a word or phrase to get results that mention those words exactly, or use a minus sign to exclude certain words from your search.”
For marketers and SEOs, this panel offers an interesting look into how Google determines relevance on a per-result basis.
Prior to today’s update, About This Result only displayed information about the content source and whether the website’s connection was secure. Now it contains a wealth of data about relevance signals.
This expansion is now live for 10% of eligible users and will gradually roll out to 100%. The expanded panels are available in English in the U.S. to start, with plans for a wider rollout in the coming months.