SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. The page that a search engine returns after a user submits a search query. SERPs tend to include organic search results, paid results, featured snippets, image and video results.
What Is Search Engine & How It Works?
A Search Engine is a software program that helps people find the information they are looking for online using keywords or phrases. The engine provides a list of results that best match what the user is trying to find.
Search engines work through three primary functions:
Read Article – How Do Search Engine Works?
What Is SERP?
Search engine results page or SERP comes up when users enter a search query. Users input a specific phrase or keyword and the search engine lists all of the results related to or identical to the statement given on a SERP.
In the simplest terms, it’s the page that displays search results whenever you search for something on Google.
A typical Google SERP looks like this:
How Do SERP Work?
Each search engine’s SERP design is different, but since Google is the most popular and holding over 80% of the market share—we’ll focus on their features and algorithms.
Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) was very simple: a handful of text ads at the top and the right and 10 organic results with their titles, descriptions, and links. Being in the first position guaranteed the best organic traffic result.
Today, search engine results pages are much more complex and there are a lot of elements that have to be taken into account to get the most relevant pages. Google now has dozens of SERP features that appear on the first page, the two most important categories are Paid Results and Organic Results.
Results that appear because advertisers paid money to put them there. These are typically text ads or shopping results. They often appear before organic search results even if some organic results offer better information. Although they’re ads, their structure is similar to that of an actual result, encouraging users to click.
Two main types of sponsored results exist:
1. Text Ads
Text Ads better known as Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an internet marketing model in which advertisers pay a small fee each time one of their ads is clicked. It is an alternate method of sending traffic to your site through purchasing a user’s click rather than earning it through organic search.
2. Shopping Results
Most of the people purchase online by searching the best product on Google. Users who input an ecommerce transactional query may find themselves presented with a list of options right on Google.
Like text ads, companies pay for spots in the results by bidding on search terms. For example, if you were looking to buy a laptop online, you might get a carousel of Shopping Results that looks like this:
Google Ads allows websites to show up at the top of the SERPs for their chosen keywords, and they pay Google every time someone clicks their ad. These results display at the top and bottom of the SERP and have “Ad” written in bold letters next to the URL.
Search Engine Optimization is the foundation for every website to rank in the search results. If you constantly optimize your website and update your content in a timely manner then it will quite easy for you to get higher rank on Google search results.
What Are The Features of A SERP?
Today’s SERP is more visually varied than it was in years past. In addition to generic search results that simply display the site name and metadata, searches can also return images, shopping suggestions, Tweets, or information cards. Each feature generally fits into one of the following categories:
Featured snippets are a type of result, often separated from regular results, that present clear and effective answers to specific questions posed in a query. Search engines take the full answer as a snippet of content and place it above all other results.
A site must already be on the first page of search results to get a featured snippet, so reaching that milestone should be your top priority. In the meantime, make sure the content of your page is informative and includes all of the desired keywords.
Image & Video Results
When Google’s algorithm determines that visual information would be particularly relevant to a search, the SERP will include a row of images and videos.
Google video results appear if a site has embedded video content that’s relevant to the search. As with images, make sure the description, surrounding text, and title of your video are accurate and descriptive.
A knowledge card is a box on the SERP that displays select facts about the searched topic, similar to a miniature Wikipedia page. Google pulls these facts from a library of more than 3.5 billion data points.
People Also Ask
For every search, there are a bunch of similar searches that use different words. Google often displays these on a SERP under the heading, “People also ask” or “Questions related to” results.
There’s only one link per related question, and for your site to get that spot, it has to be on the first page of results for that related question.
Local Business Data
If you’ve queried for a business or location (especially “near me”), you’ll often receive a map with a list of businesses in return.
They can also appear when Google feels that a normal search needs a few local results. For example, if you search for “Digital Marketing Company”, Google knows that you’re probably looking for a Digital Marketing Company nearby.
These are links to news articles about a specific topic.
Top stories are mostly shows News pop up if a search yields time-specific results or recent news stories. Whether you run a full-blown news website or just have a section for news, you can submit your site to Google’s News Publisher Center. Google’s news algorithm automatically crawls accepted pages, so the news box is a great way to get views if you have the right kind of content.
Google has included tweets in certain SERPs since 2015. Tweets aren’t always present (they’re most likely to appear when a topic is trending), but this feature can help encourage folks to navigate to your Twitter feed.
At the very bottom of the first page, you’ll find a list of searches related to your query.
This is another great place to look for keyword or topic ideas.
Get These SERP Features
Google will keep using these SERP features, so you might as well embrace it and make sure your website is featuring in them. The SERP features might lead to a higher percentage of no-click searches, but they can also lead to much higher CTRs when you win them.
Featured Snippets, Knowledge Panels, Local Business Search, Shopping Results etc. they all stand out and attract users. If you can featured in these results, you’ve got an excellent opportunity to boost your organic traffic.
If you’re following good SEO practices, you have a solid chance to win these SERP features, but you can also take some specific steps to increase your chances of winning features.
The more you know about SERPs, the better you can strategize your content and site design. Staying up-to-date with Google’s policies is key to keeping your site in shape to be highly ranked.
While they might seem complicated, there are tangible steps you can take to rank well in the SERPs and bring in the organic traffic you crave. While the search engines are always changing the SERPs, SEO and high-quality, relevant content can help you stay on top.