The appearance of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) has evolved greatly over the years. Search query results are no longer limited to text results with hyperlinks to websites. Now, depending on the nature of their query, searchers could also see images, videos, maps, reviews and more.
This is beneficial not only for searchers by presenting them with a variety of ways to find the information they are looking for, but also for marketers who can optimize their online presence to get their company in front of potential customers in a variety of ways as well.
However, SEO is even more difficult to manage than usual if you aren’t familiar with the elements of the new-age SERP and the terminology associated with it. That’s why Google launched a Visual Elements Gallery, which is a guide that summarizes and defines the search elements in a user-friendly format that includes graphics.
If you have a question related to Google search results, the Visual Elements Gallery is a great place to start. Companies like Search Engine Journal have put out overview articles that serve as a starter for people who want a little bit of a preview before diving in.
We also felt it would be helpful to highlight some of the key components of the Visual Elements Gallery. It can be overwhelming to read through any in-depth resource guide if you go in blind. By dipping your toe in the water and getting an idea of what to expect first, you can be more confident about navigating the resource and finding the information that is relevant to you.
Google SERP Features
A total of 22 search features are covered in Google’s Visual Elements Gallery. That number may grow in the future, so it’s a good idea to bookmark the page and check back occasionally for updates. The features fall under the following search result visual elements:
- Attribution – The source information of the search result
- Text result – A search result based on the textual content of the page (i.e., the traditional blue hyperlink results)
- Image result – A search result based on an image embedded on a page
- Video result – A search result based on a video embedded on a page
- Exploration features – A feature that helps searchers expand/refine their initial search (i.e., “Related searches” or “People also ask”)
Also notable is a rich attribute, which is included in the Text result section. Rich attributes provide additional information about the web page. Examples include review stars or recipe information.
How the Visual Elements Gallery Presents Information
As mentioned in the introduction, the Visual Elements Gallery is a user-friendly tool. That’s because it provides information in two formats that are both easy to consume and understand.
As the name of the resource implies, there are plenty of visuals. A graphic is included for each search element, with labels showing the various features that are associated with the element.
Below the graphic are definitions of the features that make up the search element. The definitions are short and to the point, and most of them include hyperlinks to resources with additional information. This gives you the flexibility to learn more about a particular topic if desired.
The Visual Elements Gallery isn’t too long and can be consumed in its entirety without taking too much of your time. However, if you have something specific in mind you want to learn about and don’t want to scroll through the entire thing, navigation is easy. The contents listing at the top of the page includes hyperlinks to each element.
The Benefits of Google’s Visual Elements Gallery
The Visual Elements Gallery that Google has put together has value regardless of your marketing situation. It’s a worthwhile resource if you are:
- A marketer working by yourself or with an internal team
- Example: You are optimizing your attribution data and need to know what a favicon is and how to provide one
- A marketer collaborating with a marketing agency
- Example: Your agency proposes snippet copy (meta description) for a new webpage and you want to refresh your memory of where and how it displays on the SERP before deciding
- A business owner who has hired a marketing agency to manage your marketing
- Example: Your agency tells you they have created new keyword-rich content based on research of SERP exploration features, and you want a quick reference of what that means
In short, the gallery can be used to better your understanding of search results, whether you just need a quick answer or a starting point that can lead you to more in-depth information. If you have any involvement in your company’s website or SEO efforts, the Google Visual Elements Gallery is good to have at your fingertips!