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2. About Interpreting Google Results



Perform a Basic Google Search

Browse Through Search Results

A Google search results page is a masterpiece of packing a great deal of information into a compact amount of space. But at first glance, it can be difficult to understand all that information and what it all means. Taking a moment or two to examine a typical page helps you get more out of Google.

On the typical search results page shown here, a search was done for john lennon. At the very top of the page is the total number of results Google found, the number of results on the current page, and the amount of time it took to do the search.

Just beneath that information are links for News results. These links all lead to recent news stories about the search term, john lennon. In the example, there are two recent news stories, one from The Sunday Herald and one from the BBC News. Click any link to go to the news story, or click the main link heading, News results for john lennon, to go to a full Google News page of search results. (For more information about using Google News, see Get the News with Google News.

On the right side of the page is a list of sponsored links. These links have all been paid for, and are essentially advertising. But don't ignore them because of that; they often contain services, information, or items for which you're looking. In some instances, a sponsored link appears at the very top of the search results, if an advertiser has paid enough money for that positioning.

Directly below the News results are the heart of the pagethe Google search results. Each result contains a great deal of information:

  • The title of the page, which is also the link to the page.

  • A short description of the page, just underneath the title.

  • The actual URL of the page, underneath the description.

Key Term

URL (uniform resource locator) A web address that uniquely identifies a web page, such as

A typical Google search results page.

  • The size of the page, in kilobytes, to the right of the URL.

  • The date the page was last updated, to the right of the URL. (This information is not always available and included.)

  • A link to a cached version of the page, to the right of the date. The cached version of the page is a version of the page stored on Google's servers. This link can be useful if the page itself is not currently available, or if it has been moved or changed. In these circumstances, you can click the Cached link to see the version of the page that Google indexed.

Key Term

Cached A copy of something, such as a web page, that is stored locally or on a server. If the page is changed, the cached version is the old version of the page.

  • A Similar pages link that displays a list of pages similar to the one listed; this link is located to the right of the Cached link. For example, if you did a search on John Lennon, and you came to a page that was from a biographical website with his biography, a page "similar" to that one would be the page of another biographical website.

  • A Remove result link you can click if the result is off-target and you no longer want to see it on the results page.

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