Understanding your search results

Different search engines display their search results in different ways. For example, the picture below shows the key features of a Google results page for the search term 'hawk'.

Search results

Google often lists basic information from trusted sources like Wikipedia in the 'knowledge graph' on the top right-hand side of the page. If you just need a quick answer, that's the first place to look. 

Based on a range of factors, including your keywords and location, the most relevant results are listed towards the top of the page.

If you use a word with different meanings or cultural interpretations, Google works out which are the most popular and presents them first. In this case, Google knows we’re in Australia and has ranked local results higher (including results about a football premiership).

Refine your results

Along with adding keywords, another way of refining your search is to select 'Images', 'Videos' or other filters from beneath the search bar. You can filter these results further by refining by colour, size and type of image.

You can also click the wheel icon on the right of the screen to select 'Advanced search'. This allows you to refine your search further by selecting an exact word or phrase, numbers, language, region etc.


Depending on the web browser you're using (eg Chrome or Firefox), and your search term (eg physics versus slippers), you might see a Wikipedia knowledge graph at the top of your page, shopping links and advertisements (look for the green 'Ad' label next to the URL). You might also see paid ads at the bottom or right-hand side of the page.


Go to Google and search for Wilsons Prom. Take a look at the information provided on the right-hand side of the screen, as well as the search results listed.

Now try refining by images. Click on the 'Images' tab underneath the search bar.

Things to remember

  • The most relevant results are listed first
  • You can search by image or video
  • Use advanced search to refine your search further

Now, let's look at some tips and tricks to searching Google.


Last modified: Thursday, 22 September 2016, 2:29 PM