Go Organic with Google to Improve Search Results


Whether you’re helping kids with homework, doing research for the boss, or shopping for a new gadget, you’re likely to start with a search on Google. The popular, and powerful search engine has earned a well-deserved reputation for quickly and easily helping people find what they want on the Internet. However, with a better understanding of a typical Google search result page, you can further improve your chances of finding the right information the first time.

Hunting for Dinosaurs

Google search result pages can vary greatly depending on your search terms. For example, a search for “dinosaurs” appears quite academic with links to pictures, Wikipedia, Discovery, Scholastic as well as several museums and exhibitions. You may barely notice the links on the right-hand side of the page, labeled “Sponsored Links,” which still appear to link to relatively reputable sites.

Google search for dinosaurs

Change the search to “dinosaur toys,” and Google provides completely different results. Look closely and you’ll see that the first three search results appear on a lightly shaded yellow background. The upper right corner of that shaded box tells you these are “Sponsored Links.” Those companies or individuals have paid Google for their sites to appear at the top of the results list for the search words you entered.

Google search for dinosaur toys

You’ll also notice quite a few more links on the right-some from recognizable – and some from not so recognizable – vendors. Anyone can buy a piece of Google’s valuable “Sponsored Link” real estate to try and capture your attention through the Google AdWords program. Therefore, the top “Sponsored Link” results may not be the most relevant to your search.

Click Wisely

Perhaps you want to buy a dinosaur toy for your nephew and the Google results page reminds you about the account and profiles you’ve already set up at ToysRUs. Clicking on the ToysRUs sponsored link will take you directly to their site and display all available dinosaur toys. In return for getting you to click on their link, whether you buy something or not, ToysRUs will pay Google a fee for making their link highly visible.

Sometimes the same result will appear as a sponsored link and an unsponsored link. Sponsors only pay a fee when you click on the sponsored link. All other results are ranked and ordered by Google according to how relevant they are to your search.

Who gets it Right: Google vs. Advertisers?

Both sponsored and unsponsored, or organic, results attempt to interpret your search terms and make assumptions about what you want to find. So, who does a better job? Generally, the most reliable and relevant results are organic search results that appear as the first links below the yellow box. That’s why it’s no wonder many business owners decide to go with top digital marketing agencies in order to improve those organic rankings. However, when shopping for something rare or unusual, you may also find good matches in the sponsored link areas in the top yellow box or in the column on the right.

Thanks to sponsored links, Google continues to provide fee-free search services as well free access to many of its other tools and resources. And, now, with a better understanding of how Google search results appear in your Web browser, organic and sponsored results can live peacefully side-by-side while you find what you want when you want it.