Posts Tagged 'Katy Barrilleaux'

The Anatomy of a Google Search Results Page

Natural listings, organic results, sponsored ads, SERPs — these are just a few of the terms used to describe elements of a Google results page. But do you know what each one means? If they’re Greek to you, then keep on reading.

When you conduct a search query on Google, the results page presented — also known as a search engine results page or SERP — usually contains links that are free as well as links that are purchased. Free listings are referred to as “natural” or “organic” results. They represent the majority of the results on a SERP and are found along the left side of the page. See the green box in Figure 1 below.

Purchased links are called “Sponsored Links,” but may also be referred to as “pay-per-click ads (PPC),”  “Google AdWords” or “paid ads.” Sponsored links are found along the right side of the page, and may also be the top three links on the left side of the SERP. See the pink boxes in Figure 1 below.

Organic results vs. Paid results

Figure 1 -- Organic results vs. Paid results

As suggested by the name, Sponsored Links are paid ad placements based on the purchase of clicks for specific search query keywords. Organic results on the other hand, are completely controlled by Google. Google bots crawl millions of web pages every day, constantly analyzing the context of pages and adding them to its index. Using Google’s proprietary and incredibly secret algorithm, it serves up organic results to your query, making every attempt to provide the highest quality web pages matching the keywords.

There is a lot more that may be said about how PPC and organic listings happen, but we’ll leave those for other posts. For now, if you would like a detailed explanation of all of the elements on a Google SERP, visit Google’s Web Help page (link).


New Year, New Blog

The new year is officially here and so is this new blog. I titled it Search Matters because not only is search going to be the primary focus of the site, but it also emphasizes the importance of search engines. After all, there are more than 12 billion searches conducted on search engines every month. And as the following chart from comScore shows, the number is growing.

Monthly Search Engine Searches -- October 2008

Monthly Search Engine Searches -- October 2008

Search Matters will approach the subject with the agency executive in mind, specifically those who are not yet knee-deep into the wonderful world of search. This is a perspective the author, Katy Barrilleaux, knows quite well. With more than 20 years in the agency business — the last ten years in interactive — and the past year focused specifically on search engine optimization (SEO) (definition), Katy Barrilleaux knows first-hand the challenges facing agency professionals.

I will attempt to get information posted as quickly as possible, but in the mean time, if you have an urgent client opportunity with search, I encourage you to check out Lead Maverick (website) — the SEO platform specifically for advertising, public relations, interactive and web development firms. No technical knowledge is needed; just use Lead Maverick’s proprietary online content analyzer to publish onto our highly optimized SEO platform — and watch the top natural search results come!

Let me know if there are specific topics you’d like to see covered here or if you have any questions. I hope you find Search Matters informative.

Happy New Year!

Katy Barrilleaux


There are approximately 12 billion searches conducted on the internet each month. And that number continues to grow. As more companies look for ways to gain an advantage in an increasingly competitive environment, marketers seek to integrate search engine optimization (SEO) into their marketing communications. And with the advancement in non-technical online tools, SEO is not just for programmers and search marketers anymore. Search Matters is specifically for marketers who want to learn about organic search and how to integrate SEO into their integrated marketing communications programs.

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