7 Types of Google Search Result You Need to Know About  

Google is more than a search engine. It is a knowledge base. It can answer your most complex queries and deliver contextual results that answer your next questions without being prompted. It does this in milliseconds, processing around 63,000 search queries every second. It is one of the greatest innovations of our time.

The evolution of Google has been remarkable these past few years. There are now over twenty types of search result. In this article, we will cover 7 types of Google search result you can capitalise on as a small-medium sized business. A professional SEO Agency, will be able to assist you with all of these opportunities

 1. Google Ads

Google Ads are paid search results. They appear above all other search results and sometimes at the bottom. Google earns 90% of its revenue from ads. 

The way Google Ads work is you set up a campaign with a budget and a bid to secure placement in search results for keyword phrases. Your campaign then automates itself. You pay per click. Conversions are tracked in Analytics.

This can be lucrative, but you need to beware of PPC agencies who will take your budget with no thought for profit.

The fundamental here is to know what profit you make on a sale. The basics are simple. If a product makes £9 profit per sale and the average cost per visitor is £1.50 then you need a sale every six visitors to break even.

2. Featured snippet

A featured snippet appears at the top of search results. This is the result Google believes provides the best answer to the searcher’s query.

A useful fact about featured snippets is you can’t be the featured snippet and also appear on the first page as an organic result. However, winning a feature snippet is better than an organic result, resulting in a 20-30% increase in traffic.

If you want to win a featured snippet, you need to create industry-leading content in the format Google wants. This means creating longer and more in-depth content of a higher quality than competing pages. Ahrefs has a guide to get started.

3. YouTube featured snippet

A YouTube featured Snippet appears at the top of search results when Google believes a video best answers the searcher’s query.

To win a YouTube featured snippet, you need to be on YouTube and produce high-quality, optimised video content.

We have seen an increase in the number of YouTube featured snippets in search results from 2019-2021. Text-based featured snippets are often replaced with video snippets. This appears to be random and never consistent.

If you want to win a YouTube featured snippet, we recommend this guide from Search Engine Watch on how to get your YouTube video featured in Google.

4. Local search results

Local search results appear when you use local keyword phrases like ‘Leeds plumber’, ‘pub near me’ and ‘Italian restaurant’.

The search result is displayed as a box called the Google Local Pack – it includes a Google Map with pinned listings pulled from Google My Business.

If you want your business to appear in the Google Local Pack, you need to claim your Google My Business listing and create a good profile.

5. Organic search results

Organic search results appear because they are relevant to someone’s search terms. You can’t claim them or pay for them.

Organic search results appear below Google Ads and the Local Search Pack when these results are shown. Results are calculated strictly algorithmically, meaning you need to satisfy Google’s algorithm to achieve good rankings.

Hiring an SEO agency is the simplest way to do this. Otherwise, a good place to get started is Google’s guide to how search algorithms work.

6.People also ask search results

People also ask (PPA) search results are embedded between organic results. They are contextual results based on what people also search for.

The unique thing about these results is they answer questions related to the user’s search query. Google has a dedicated algorithm for what content to use. PAA boxes are present in almost half of all searches and this number is growing.

If you want to rank in PAA boxes, you need to optimise your content. Ahrefs has a good introductory guide to ranking in PAA boxes.

7.Rich Answers

Rich Answers are answers that resolve simple search queries like ‘Jupiter radius’, ‘cm in a ft’, ‘seconds in a day’ and ‘NASDAQ’.

Rich answers come in many forms, including recipes, sports scores, stock graphs, calculators, sliders and text-based answers.

Google uses a combination of public domain information and third-party sources for answers. It is difficult to compete against the likes of Wikipedia and public domain info, but you can capitalise on long-tail keywords for smaller queries.


I have been walking the talk with SEO for 18 years and have money-generating web businesses of my own. My background is real-world business and marketing. Search engine optimisation is not black art. If you want your website to do better, contact me.