Insights

4th May 2020

Google’s new feature informs users when their search query does not return relevant results

Google has started to roll out a new update to its search results pages in the US, displaying a message to users to notify them when it is unable to provide high-quality search results which are relevant to their search query.

Google works hard to provide the best search experience for its users, constantly updating its algorithm and using new technologies and language understanding systems such as BERT.

Currently if you misspell part of your query, it can detect the typo and will search using a prediction of the correctly spelled word. Similarly, if you phrase your query differently to how it is worded on websites, Google is able to understand the subject matter and search its index in a way that ensures the return of relevant results. However, despite the capabilities of these systems, there are inevitably times when these systems fail or when there is simply no information  on the internet that matches your query.

In this case, Google will display a message at the top of the SERP explaining that there aren’t any relevant matches for the user’s query. This is li kely to only be shown for a small proportion of queries, as often Google is able to find relevant and helpful information, however, Google explains that they hope it saves users some time in finding the information they want more quickly. In order to provide further support for their searchers, in some of the cases where this notification is shown, Google will provide tips for how users can amend their search query to improve their chances of finding relevant results.

Below the message showing at the top of the SERP, users can still choose to review the results (which continue to be displayed). However, the message indicates that Google has not been able to find the information that you were searching for, and therefore it is most likely more beneficial to instead try reformulating your query.

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Article by: Katie, Technical SEO Expert More articles by Katie

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