Before you start linking to search engine results pages (more commonly referred to by the acronym SERPs), you should understand the 3 components of a bare bones results page URL:
- The Base URL
- The Query Parameter
- The Query Value
Linking To Google Search Web Results
Always begin building the link with the base Google Search URL:
Next, you will need to add a query parameter to the end of the base URL – a parameter is used to define certain values associated with a web page, which affects what is loaded by that web page. In this case, you need to enter the query parameter “q” to the end of the base URL:
To add a parameter to a base URL, you need to preface it with a question mark (“?”) – this will let your web browser know that the next few characters will describe a specific parameter on the page that you’re accessing. You then follow up on your parameter with “=”, signaling that the next few characters after the “=” will be the value for that specific parameter.
Finally, you need to know what query you’d like to load results for – the query value.
In this case, let’s go with something simple: “douglas hollingsworth”
Since URLs are not supposed to use blank spaces, you’ll need to replace all ” ” with “+” (this is really easy to do in an Excel spreadsheet, just use the find and replace feature).
For this example, a link to see web results in Google Search for “Douglas Hollingsworth” would use the value “douglas+hollingsworth” (always try to make sure that your URLs only use lowercase characters).
Putting all three of these elements together (the base URL, the query parameter, and the query value), you should get a link that looks like this:
In our example, my link would appear as this:
https://www.google.com/search?q=douglas+hollingsworth (Try this link out!)
Linking To Bing Web Results
Funny story – Bing’s search result URLs have the same fundamental structure as Google Search, which means that you can use the exact same process described above to link to specific search results pages in Bing!
All you need to do is swap out the Base URL:
Instead of https://www.google.com/search …
You would use http://www.bing.com/search
(Unlike Google, Bing does not use Secure Socket Layers (SSL) to encrypt User data at this time, so make sure that you use “http” instead of “https” for all links to Bing search results)