Websites that implement Google-compliant structured data elements may have one or more interesting special features in search results. Because they contain unique visual elements that stand out from normal results, and because they can appear in different places on the SERP, searchers are much more likely to look at results with these special features before anything else:
- Sitelinks searchbox: This is a search field that sometimes appears below a snippet. If Google determines that a broad query is likely to lead to a second query on a site that has its own integrated search engine, then Google will try to pre-empt that second search by providing a search field with a site-limited scope. This often happens when someone uses a URL or a well-known brand or site name as a search query. For instance, if you search for pinterest, Google will provide a sitelinks searchbox under the top result for pinterest.com.
- Rich result: In lieu of a snippet, some search results can display an image thumbnail or review star rating. This is typically for results where the rich element is an important part of the content, such as pages that contain reviews of books or movies, or interviews with celebrities.
- Carousel: If there are multiple pages on a site that are similar and contain rich results, Google may choose to display them in a horizontal carousel.
- Enriched result: When search results for job postings, recipes, or event listings lead to pages that contain interactive elements, Google may add some of that functionality to a rich result.
There are many more SERP features that aren’t driven by on-page structured data elements. Instead, Google generates them based on data from its other services. For example, the query electricians in Scranton would return a small map graphic from Google Maps with pins showing the location of relevant results in that area, followed by a list of three top-rated local results according to Google My Business, followed by the regular Web search results. The group of three listings underneath the map is sometimes referred to as the map pack, and it accounts for a large percentage of clicks.
These are just a few examples. For a comprehensive list of hidden SERP features that appear in OneBox results and Knowledge Panels, get your updated copy of Google Power Search.