Search engine rankings are the bread and butter of every webmaster in the world. Unless we are found in search engines, most likely traffic is non existent. Of course, we could have a word of mouth site hoping this will continue to bring traffic, but in reality it is the snippets of your site showing in the SERPS that will get you found.
What many don’t know is they can actually control these snippets to a certain degree. A site display in Google is like a map. Showing all kinds of information, it is helpful to us as webmasters to know what they mean and how and whether we can influence them.
1.) Title: This is your site title, usually located within your <title></title> tags. You will want your main keyword within those tags.
2.) Stumble Upon rating and applicable rating tag: If your site has been rated by a SU user, this will show in the Google SERPS. I’m not entirely sure what determines why they show for certain listings and not for others.
3.) Meta tags description: Your meta tag description can be rewritten anytime you wish. They should also reflect your main keyword as well as being supported by a couple of related ones. Since the description is only around 160 characters long, you will want them words at the beginning.
<meta name=”description” (this is what you need to look for in your source code) normally found on the header.php template in WordPress blogs.
If DMOZ has a listing of your site, the description can also be taken from there.
4.) URL: This is your sites URL
5.) Cached page: See when Google crawled the page for the last time
6.) Related pages: If there is closely related sites, they will be shown here.
7.) Note this: When you click on this link a new window open letting you save this page to Google notebook. You can make additional notes and save them for further reference.
8.) Favicon: If you have a favicon (little icon) uploaded on your site, it will display in the SERPS. All the more reasons to do this since it ads to the visual branding.
9.) Byte size: This shows the size of the page
A couple of extras:
+ sign: more information about the company as well as maps:
Site links: There is no money involved for site links to display. They are completely automated. If there are several results for a page, they will be usually displayed with site links. Generally, bigger sites get these displayed rather than an average size site.
Some of these factors can be influenced by you with Plugins and coding while others depend on factors outside your influences.
If you rather watch a video with a visual explanation, check out this one from Google.