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Google Gallery: Evolution of the Search Results Page

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The only thing constant in the world of Google is change. From its earliest days in the late ’90s to the present day north-of-$350 billion enterprise, Google has continued to change, and change rapidly.

Of particular interest to search marketers has been the evolution of the search results page. For the first few years of its existence, Google’s results page consisted only of traditional text listings. But in 2001, images were incorporated into search results, in 2002, products and news results saw their debut, and over the course of the following 12 years, Google added dozens of new features to the results page.

Image for Blog Post
In 2011, Google introduced its “Search by image” feature.

Over the course of the past 2 years, Google’s “Knowledge Graph” has become more prevalent in search results, and more sophisticated. Starting with its “Knowledge Panel” back in May 2012, Google started consolidating relevant information and key facts about specific topics directly on the results page.

Image 2 (Marie Curie)
This Google search for Marie Curie delivers traditional text listings and images. To the right is the Knowledge Box, which displays specific pieces of key information about the subject of the search query.

Since then, Google has rolled out several other manifestations of the “Knowledge Graph.” Here at Overdrive, we have developed a taxonomy for these Knowledge Graph components and created a visual story line that illustrates the evolution of the search results page – a project we call the Google Gallery. Within the Knowledge Graph, our framework consists of eight major components:

Image 3 (Graphs)
Overdrive has broken Google’s Knowledge Graph into eight major components: the Knowledge Panel, the Knowledge Graph OneBox, Carousels, Listings, Calculators, Converters, Utilities, and Information Snippets.

We invite you to download a free PDF our representation of the evolution of Google’s results page at: https://www.ovrdrv.com/google-gallery or in our Facebook Resource Library.

As we can only assume Google will continue to expand the knowledge graph – and likely take further steps to expedite the time between search query and answer – we will continuously update the Google Gallery accordingly.

If you would like to leverage our search marketing expertise, visit our Services page or contact us to discuss what we can do for you and your organization.

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