For any given query an ad, or a series of ads, may appear. Ads resemble organic results in many ways as they appear with a blue link to a site that sits below a URL. There is even information that mimics an organic result's description appearing under the blue link. What essentially differentiates an ad from an organic result is the black tag containing the word "Ad" that appears to the left of the URL. If you should happen to see an ad tag in a color other than black, don't be surprised, Google often tests different colors.
Like an organic result, clicking on the header of an ad will bring you to a website. You can expect to find ads at either the top or bottom of a results page (or both at the top and the bottom).
Should you perform a query that Google thinks relates strongly to visual content, i.e., images, an Images (Box) feature may appear. You might think of it as Google abiding by the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Should Google think that seeing an image is your end goal, or if images would enhance your understanding of a topic, the Images (Box) may display. Just by way of example, say you did a search for "sports stadium," there is a good chance that Google would display the feature for such a query. This is because while it is entirely possible that you are interested in information about sports stadiums, there is a relatively equal chance that you are actually interested in seeing what various stadiums look like.
The Images (Box) can serve as a means of shifting your query to be related to visual results. The feature appears as rows of various images related to your search and can display above or within your results. On top of the pictures per se is a heading that displays your query with the addition of "Images for" placed before it (in the above-mentioned example the header would read "Images for sports stadium"). The heading is a clickable link and once clicked on will bring you to all of Google's image results, as normally found when clicking on "Images" on the results page menu bar (appearing directly below the search box). Should you do so, you will notice that the images appearing within the Images (Box) can be found within the Images results page. Alternatively, clicking on any of the images within the Images (Box) will also redirect you to the Images results page as well. Additionally, you will find “filter bubbles” below the header and above the images which when you click on one will bring to the Google Images results “filtered” to that filter bubble.
If Google determines that you are possibly searching for a local establishment (i.e., a store, restaurant, government offices, etc.) it may display its Local Pack. This feature is quite similar to a Map Box, however, its purpose is entirely different. Like Map Box, this feature displays with a map at its top. However, the intention of the map is to indicate the location of local establishments, not merely to help direct you to a given location. As such, the map within Local Pack indicates where local establishments related to your search may be found. Note, a Local Pack may display even if a location is not mentioned within your query. Should you query "schools," there is a strong chance that a Local Pack may appear, as Google recognizes that the term "school" generally connotes local education establishments.
Local Packs can appear either on top of or within your search results. The map presented in the feature will display three local establishments and is for this reason sometimes known as the "3-Pack." Under the map, Local Pack generally presents the name, address, and phone number for the establishments listed. Often, review stars as well as opening hours will appear here as well. To the right of each establishment is a link to find directions, much as you would find within a Map Box. Should there be a website associated with the establishment, a link to the website, as shown by a graphic of the Earth above the word, "Website," will show between the establishment's information and the link to obtain directions.
If there should be more than three establishments associated with your query, the Local Pack feature will display a link to view them at its bottom where it says ‘"More places." Clicking here will redirect you to a new results page that shows a full-on list of local establishments (including the three original results, although not necessarily in that order). These results follow the same display format as the ones within Local Pack per se. To the right of the results is a large map indicating the locations of the showing establishments. This page can also be brought up by clicking on any of the results showing within a Local Pack.
When performing a query that Google sees as relating to current events and news happenings, a Top Stories (Box) will often appear. Within the Top Stories (Box), between two-three links to news articles will be presented. These news results will display slightly differently than an organic result. Though they will have a blue link header, there is no URL beneath it. Instead, you will find the name or logo of the news outlet shown in green (next to which, in light gray, Google will tell you how long ago the article was posted). The results are shown in one of two ways: either one on top of the other or side-by-side. Both ways would show an image or a video thumbnail.
The Top Stories (Box) shows a header, which states "Top Stories," which leads the news results displayed within the box. If there are other new results related to your query, a blue link will be displayed at the bottom of the box stating "More for" followed by the exact search term you entered. Clicking here will bring you to the News results as normally found when clicking "News" in the menu bar under the results page's search box.
At the bottom of nearly every results page will be a list of searches related to your query. Known as Related Search, these clickable blue links indicate other search topics related to your own. Related searches are found at the bottom of the results page and are separated from your results by a thin gray line. Related searches are presented by a header reading, "Searches related to" (followed by the exact text of your original query). Clicking on any of the related searches will bring up a new results page for the search just clicked on.
Google Posts is a quasi-social media element that allows content to be published directly to the SERP. Appearing for select entities, the feature presents cards of content that can either appear within organic results or within Google's Knowledge Panel. In either case, the feature is presented via cards on a carousel. Clicking the heading of the feature, which is also the name of the shown entity, brings the user to a Google page that presents all of the posted content in chronological order. Clicking on a specific card brings the user directly to the content on the entity's site.
Sometimes shown on the SERP as Top sights in ‘x,’ the Things to Do feature presents users with a display that contains a carousel of local sights/attractions as related to the location mentioned in the query. Clicking on one of the sights/attractions brings up a unique Local Finder that displays a full series of local sights within cards that contain a description of the sight, a user rating, etc. Also included in the feature are ‘filter bubbles’ which when clicked display a filtered version of the Local Finder. Unlike the standard Local Finder, this element is actually a page within Google's Travel Guide feature. As such, clicking on the link to additional sights at the box's bottom will bring users to the location's main page within the Google Travel Guide.
Currently showing for queries, Google may supplement the results shown within a Local Pack by offering additional locations at the bottom of the SERP. The Discover More Places feature presents these locations within a card-like carousel with each element being a different category. Upon clicking on a given carousel element, a Local Finder will appear, making the specific locations within the category visible.
For queries related to job opportunities, the Google for Jobs
feature may display. Appearing at the top of the SERP, the feature generally contains three job listings related to the query. Pulled from job listing sites, the results include the job title, the company offering the job, when the listing was posted, on what site the listing can be found, etc. The feature also allows the user to filter results in a variety of ways and to save job listings for future viewing. Clicking on one of the three results, or on the link at the bottom of the feature, brings a user to the full listings. With the full job listings shown, a user can see job descriptions, view filtered results, etc.
Similar to the Images (Box), this feature might appear in queries that Google thinks relates strongly to visual content. But instead of showing all the images in a box shape, the carousel version shows the images one next to each other with an arrow you can click to view more.
On top of the pictures per se is a heading that displays your query with the addition of "Images for" placed before it (in the above-mentioned example the header would read "Images for sports stadium"). The heading is a clickable link and once clicked on will bring you to all of Google's image results, as normally found when clicking on "Images" on the results page menu bar (appearing directly below the search box). Should you do so, you will notice that the images appearing within the Images (Box) can be found within the Images results page. Alternatively, clicking on any of the images within the Images (Box) will also redirect you to the Images results page as well. Additionally, you will find “filter bubbles” below the header and above the images which when you click on one will bring to the Google Images results “filtered” to that filter bubble.
For queries where Google decides you want to view something more visual, a video carousel might appear.
On top of the videos is the header "Videos" and below it are three video boxes with an arrow on the right you can click to side-scroll to view more. The top third of the video box is the video's thumbnail image with a black transparent smaller box in the video's bottom-left corner displaying the video's runtime. Below the video is the video's title, the channel name (if applicable), the website the video came from, and the upload date. The video itself and the title are both clickable and will take you to the URL where the video is embedded.
Find hotels in your area or in almost any city right on the Google SERP. This feature is like a mashup of Google Flights and the Local Pack, where you can choose the dates and the number of people staying. You'll see a map of the area on the right-hand side with multiple price tag labels and on the left-hand side four featured hotels (unlike the Local Pack which shows only three listings). These featured hotels show the hotel name, an image, the price, the review rating, and some special features the hotel offers (e.g. Free Wi-Fi).
Clicking on the map will take you to google.com/travel/hotels/
with more filter options and the ability to zoom in on the map and click on the hotel map labels. Clicking on the featured hotels will bring you to the hotel's landing page with a link to book a room.
The People Also Search For box, like the name implies, displays other entities that are related to the current search. It usually appears in the Knowledge Panel and it displays as images with the entity's name below each image. It can also appear as multiple rows of images in the main organic results each with a label that represents how the entities are related to the search. Clicking on an image brings up a Google search for that entity. Clicking on the 'See More' button brings up a Google search for the label.
Book dinner reservations, appointments, classes, and more using Reserve with Google. When searching for a business on Google Search, you might find a 'Reserve a Table' or 'See Schedule & Book' button in its Knowledge Panel. Clicking on the button takes you to a calendar form where you can choose a time and date to reserve. This feature can also be found in the Google Local Finder, Google Maps, and Google Assistant.
Events is a feature that highlights events in an area created by users in Google Maps. On the desktop SERP, they appear in a grid format with the name, date, time, and location of the event appearing in each cell. Clicking on an event takes you to the event page with a more detailed description. Once there, you can get tickets, share the event, or scroll down to see more events as well filter the events using the tabs in the top and left-hand side of the page.
When searching for a local service like a plumber, locksmith, or electrician, the Local Services Ads (LSA) box may appear. The LSA box appears at the top of the SERP, above the organic listings. Inside, are about three service listings, each with a business name, review rating, location of service, and service hours. Hovering over each listing brings up more information such as the number of years in business and the phone number. Each listing will most likely have a Google Guaranteed stamp of approval which means that Google guarantees that these businesses will provide a good service and if not, Google will pay you back. Clicking on any of the listings takes you to the listing's page which includes more information on the business and individual reviews.
The Podcast feature displays episodes from a podcast series. It can appear for searches related to the podcast series or related to topics that the series discusses. The podcast episodes are featured in a carousel. Clicking on an episode takes you to the episode inside Google Podcasts where you can start listening to the episode or listen to other episodes.
When searching for a product, a Product Carousel may appear. A Product Carousel can appear in three forms: Popular Products, Best Products, and Similar Products. This carousel will display products from the Google Merchant Center. Each product can include the product's name, an image, the price, and a review rating. The carousel includes search refinement bubbles to filter the product results by price, type, color, etc.
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are a special ad type for products. Appearing on the top of the search results for product queries, this ad type will show an expandable list of products. Clicking on a product will take you to the product's landing page. Each product can include the product's name, the website's name, an image, the price, a review rating, and additional info like 'Free Shipping'.