Google Shows Which Ranking Factors Resulted In A Page Ranking
About This Result will show searchers information about some of these most important factors used by Google Search to connect results to their queries.
Showing Ranking Factors For Search Results
SEO Round Table (read full article) covered the news that Google will allow searchers to see why the results they got for their query populated in their search engine.
Is this really helpful?
Our take: This appears more of a CYA as regulators have been turning up the heat as to the search engine giants ability to slant results to a certain narrative. As a Digital Marketing Agency we don't think that this function will matter to 99% of searchers and doesn't add much value to the results. After all they can say that something shows up for any reason and who is gonna know if that is really the case when the algorithm has 1000's of factors.
Google is rolling out a new feature for the about this result overlay that actually tells searchers (and SEOs) why Google is ranking that page for that given query. Yes, Google is telling you which high level ranking factors are the reason this page is ranking.
Google said the "About This Result will show searchers information about some of these most important factors used by Google Search to connect results to their queries." Why is Google doing this? Google said "because just as these factors help Google decide if a result may be relevant, they may also help people decide what result is useful for them." As an FYI, I covered this news at Search Engine Land where it broke but this is something that deserves a post here as well.
Google is literally showing why it is ranking this page for this given query. It outlines I think up to nine different "factors" for why the page is ranking. I don't know all the factors but I do know these:
(1) The search term matches the content on the page or in the HTML (like title tags, etc)
(2) The search term is related (like a synonym) to the content on the page
(3) The search term matches or is related links pointing to that page
(4) The images on the page is related to the search term
(5) The language is relevant to the query (i.e. English queries are more likely to match on English content)
(6) The region of the page or what region the page serves is relevant to the query (i.e. like searching for COVID shot, you probably want to know what is offered in your region; or looking for when your trash is being picked up on your block).