Deep dive into the elements of Google’s SERP: Right rail – Map and Knowledge Graph
Right rail Knowledge Graph information box
In our research study on the changes to the search engine results page, we looked at the interaction with the right rail knowledge panel. Despite the great engagement enjoyed by a top (relevant) knowledge graph listing, the same cannot be said for the right rail knowledge box, even when it was relevant to the search intent.
33% of participants looked at the right rail knowledge graph box, however, it took much longer for participants to view the box than other elements on the page – on average over 6 times longer than the first viewed elements on the page. The total time spent viewing the right rail knowledge graph box averaged only 6% of the total time looking at the page.
When the panel was related to the task, it received more engagement, for example, when participants were asked:
- to find the website for the Superdome
- to find out more about the Canadian Auto Show
- to find out more about the Ford Fiesta
In these cases, the information box garnered 3.9% of clicks on the page.
When the information box was not specifically related to the task at hand (e.g. the task was to download Katy Perry music and the panel presented information about Katy Perry), the total time spent viewing the panel was 13% lower, and the panel garnered 41% fewer clicks.
For companies trying to capture clicks and views to their website listing, it’s preferable when the knowledge panel is shown to the right of the organic listings rather than at the top of the organic listings, because it does not have the same effect of taking clicks away from organic listings. However, businesses cannot control if the panel appears or not.
Right rail Map
We also looked at how the new SERP affected existing elements, such as the right rail map. What we found was that, not surprisingly, the map listings on the right were viewed and clicked on the most when location played an important role – people are looking for an offline destination to visit right now:
The map listings were viewed and clicked the least when the need for more detail, ratings or reviews was more important than location initially. People are researching, or looking for information – not planning on visiting this location right now:
Participants took 2.37 times longer to view the map on the right when the carousel feature was present on the page, vs. when there was a map and no carousel. However, in these cases, the map got more attention (10% longer total visit duration)– likely because pages with a carousel have a very strong local focus, where location would have some influence.
The map feature on the right rail is viewed for a significant amount of time, and clicked, when searchers want to visit the physical location immediately – location plays a key role in decision making. Businesses can enhance their local listings by marking up their content using schema.org, as well as ensuring their Google+ local page is fully optimized. Location data is of key importance.
To learn more about Google’s new SERP, and the effects of the new listings elements on searcher behaviour, get our latest research: “The Evolution of Google Search Results Pages and Their Effects on User Behaviour”.