Winning The Search Results Page: The 4 Best Ways to the Top!

Published by Algorithmic Global on

Search Results page

Master any of these four methods and give your company the best chance at being the first one on the page!

A comprehensive digital presence drives traffic to your website and generates leads for your business or service. One of the most prominent players in the game is Google, and getting to the top of their search results page can be the difference between business growth and stagnation.

A combination of these strategies is what we use at Algorithmic Global to drive potential clients to the businesses we work with, in industries as varied as restoration to cannabis to book publishing. While we’ve seen great success with our clients, these lessons apply to any industry looking for an advantage.

This article will outline the four paths to the top of the search results page and give some context about how they work when users search for whatever product or service they need.

teacher picks student with hand raised

How does Google decide?

The four paths to the top of the search results page:

  • Google My Business
  • Local Service Ads
  • Traditional Google Ads
  • SEO

Before we dive into the methods, a quick word about the way Google works:

They’re all about the customer—notably, their ease of search. Google wants the best, most informative experience possible for their customers. Therefore, they place different content forms on the top of the page depending on what they think will be most useful.

For example, we work with restoration businesses that serve a local area. If someone is searching for water damage restoration, there’s a chance they see a Google ad, a Google My Business Page, or a list of companies listed from their Local Service Ads.

In rare cases, Google rewards a company’s SEO efforts if Google feels the article or webpage is the best resource for the searcher.

About the 4 paths to the top

Again, the four ways to the top of the search results page:

  • Google My Business
  • Local Service Ads
  • Traditional Google Ads
  • SEO

Let’s take a look at each.

Google My Business logo

Google My Business

Google My Business is a service started by Google in June 2014. Over the years, it’s grown in functionality and now includes website hosting and basic website design. It connects with search and, if you’ve ever seen a business show up in Google Maps, you’ve seen a Google My Business profile.

In short, it’s a one-stop-shop for business on Google.

Other parts of Google My Business include messaging options, promotion, and analytics about how your listing performs in the search results.

The Google My Business panel shows up on the right side of the search results page. When Google feels your business fulfills the customer’s query, traditional Google Ads and Local Service Ads serve on the panel’s left side instead of taking up the entire top section.

Local Service Ads example with green check

Local Service Ads

The initial testing for Local Service Ads began back in 2015. This option is an excellent resource for both physical locations and service providers. Local Service Ads don’t have much functionality for e-commerce sites.

As the name suggests, these are for service providers: think plumbers or lawyers. You can find the complete list of supported industries here.

One immense benefit of Local Service ads is the Google Guarantee or Google Screened designations. These are large green icons that signify that Google has screened the company.

If Google decides the searcher could benefit from a local service, they will serve these ads at the top of the results page. It’s up to them whether they show over the traditional Google Ads or not, but having the green icons produces a level of trust customers appreciate.

Traditional Google Ads

Google Ads is the service most people assume will get them to the top of the search results page. These ads work by bidding on keywords; when users search for the keywords, the paid ads show up above organic results on the search results page.

As the logic goes, pay your way to the top and watch the business roll in!

As we’ve seen, it’s not quite so simple. Both Google My Business and Local Service Ads can show above traditional Google Ads at Google’s discretion.

Then, there’s always a chance of being outbid by competitors, which could result in your ads not showing up at all!


SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making websites as friendly as possible for search engines—in this case, Google.

SEO is a never-ending process of creating content, optimizing metadata, and staying within the recommendations of the newest Google updates. 

While implementing an SEO strategy takes the most time and effort, the results don’t shift in the same way as the other three. Good content is good content, and if Google thinks your content answers the searcher’s question, it’ll show at the top of the search results page.

The other three methods are broad, comprehensive strategies; SEO is a needle piercing a target. Whenever an article or page shows at the top of the search results page, in place of traditional Google Ads, Local Service Ads, or Google My Business panes, it means the article answers the question directly. 

Quality content builds trust, and trust leads to more business.

Getting to the top of the search results page with Algorithmic Global

Having a presence in each of the four methods listed above is a great way to show up on the top of the search results page. While Local Service Ads aren’t an option for everyone, making sure your business utilizes the other three puts your business in an excellent position for success.

Google’s goal is to make the best possible search experience for their customers. They use the top of their search results page to indicate the top answers. Becoming a consistent member of the top of the search results page translates to more business, regardless of industry.

Are you interested in getting to the top of the search results page? The team at Algorithmic Global can help! Give us a call or reach out to us via our contact page, and our experienced team will follow up with you and find out how we can work together on your digital marketing!


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