How Google Search Results Have Changed Over Time – What you Should Know

How Google Search Results Have Changed Over Time - What you Should Know

Google page 1 – how has it changed over time?

The search results on are constantly changing, but the goal has always remained the same: display the most relevant search results. But over time, the information needs of Google users changed and so had to or has to adapt to them again and again.

The following is a brief synopsis of the history of Google results listings from yesterday and today, as well as a brief explanation of what you see on the results page to better understand

Always showing the best results for users has always been the primary goal of Google. But the behavior of users has changed in the last 20 years and will never stand still. That’s why Google has to constantly adapt its search to current events. Of course, not only the image but also the algorithm has constantly adapted over time.

This constant change was and is particularly visible in the case of major updates with the names BERT, EAT, Penguin, or Panda, and also in the evaluated rankings of attempted search engine optimization. One of the most important updates, the so-called Hummingbird update, has shown how the so-called semantic search can be used to better understand the search intent of users.

The start in 1998 and the first list of results

Before 1998, the suddenly exploded number of sites. The flood of information was almost endless, but it was difficult or impossible to access. Before the users themselves realized that there was a need for a search engine, Google developed a PageRank algorithm that tried to show the searcher exactly what they wanted. At that time, no search results were advertised or paid for, but purely organic.

The introduction of paid search results in 2000

Up to this point, Google was still completely ad-free, but it was already clear to some that at some point money had to be made with it. In the middle of 2000, Google started with the so-called Google AdWords. However, Google did not lose sight of the goal of relevant search results here either.

And so users had to adhere to certain specifications. In addition, all users saw and see at all times what is paid and what is unpaid.

Initially, there were still ads both above the organic results and as a right column next to them. With the shift to more and more mobile searches, this column was lost. Today there are still a maximum of four ads above the organic search results and a few below.

The simple search changes to a universal Search. In addition to the introduction of Google AdWords, within the next six years, there was much more done. Google wanted to be a universal search for all sorts of online content. This is how a vertical search engine was developed, which has endured to this day. Here you can find for example:

  • Maps
  • Pictures
  • News
  • Shopping
  • Etc.

The goal of this vertical search by Google is, it doesn’t matter which type of content is searched for. Always finding the right results has always been the company’s goal. In addition, the search should be made easier. In this sense, it has been adjusted over and over again in recent years and things have been revised and improved.

Example :

When searching for: “How tall is the Eiffel tower?”, the result is shown without having to perform an additional click. Example: When searching for “Weather Los Angeles”, you get an overview of the weather forecast for the city you are looking for.


The Knowledge Graph is a separate box that is showcased when looking for facts, places, and  information. It will briefly summarize what information is available about it. This offers the user a brief overview and there is no need to click on any website.

The Carousel

You may have noticed carousel ads when you searched for a series of pictures, events, or places of interest. This type of ad offers users additional information that they did not know before.

Google search results page will never stand still

Every change in the search results page is based on small tests that Google has run beforehand. However, the search behavior of users also changes over time, which means that Google will always work on it. It remains exciting to see how the appearance of the search results page will change and develop over the next few years.

Changes always have an impact on the search engine optimization that many companies do.

Search engine optimization with an SEO agency

Those who want to end up in the top positions with their company on Google in the long term should leave nothing to chance when it comes to search engine optimization. Make sure you establish a solid SEO strategy and work on it consistently.

By Ephatech

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