What is a SERP? Understanding Search Engine Results Page

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People who are associated with search engines as a consumer or as someone works for them have in one way or another interacted with the SERPs. What Is A SERP? You might ask this to your friend, or Google it, you will get one answer – Search Engine Result Page. As the name suggests, it is the result page that comes up on any search engine like Google or Bing when any user searches for any keyword.

Suppose you are looking for the best breakfast recipes, so you type “breakfast recipes easy” in the search box. Here “breakfast recipes easy” is your keyword and the page with results that come up after you hit enter is your SERP.

SERP Definition And How It Works

As I just mentioned, SERP is the acronym for search engine result page. The most relevant results to the keywords that are searched in the search engine are pulled out based on keyword rankings. The results that you get can be organic or through Google ads. Organically ranked pages have content with a strong keyword strategy – that is, the SEO plan is working in these cases.

Google search result page

How it works: Every Google search result page is unique, and this is mainly because every search engine customizes the experience for every user.  This customization is based on a wide range of factors, such as the user’s location, browsing history, and settings. When you compare two SERP results, you may think that they look identical, but they are never the same – they are unique in their own way.

To provide a better user interface, and the best responsive experience, the appearance of search engines keeps on varying. That is why the Search engines we knew back at the beginning of the world wide web have now changed a lot – but that change is for good. SERPs of today differ a lot in appearance as well have various new components as compared to their predecessors.

Search Engine Results Page Components

Basically, the main components of any results page are search results, query, and the advertisements that we see on the page. However, major search engines that we use like Google, include various results that improve the search experience of the user. These results are called rich features or SERP Features and include snippets, images, maps, and more. The SERPs are organized to highlight what users may get help from the best when they type in a query. For example, if you are looking for a  store to buy a brand new iPhone on Google, you will be typing ” iPhone X”, you will get results according to your location like this –

What is a SERP? Understanding Search Engine Results Page 1

This is a Google Listing which shows the businesses nearby you according to your search.

The main components that you can see on SERPs based on your query are:

  1. Search Query
  2. Organic Results
  3. Sponsored Results
  4. Knowledge Graph
  5. Featured Snippet
  6. Images
  7. Videos
  8. Products Of Purchase
  9. Suggestion For Search
  10. Local Listing

What Is A Search query

Search string or search query is what a user types in the search bar of the search engine. The search query or a search term is basically a string of words which are used by users to find the topic which they require. It could be a question, a statement, or simply a word. The topic desired by the user is the keyword, pages relevant to this keyword is fetched by the search engine to display to the user. These search terms are no longer successful as now the intent and expectations of the user matter, and instead of correct grammar or spellings, the derived context is required to get the results.

What Is A Search query

Now if we are talking about the components, based on it the results that get are of two types – organic search and sponsored search.

Organic Search Results

The results that we see on a typical search result, is normally ranked by how much a page is relevant to the search query. The organic ones that we see are the ones which are ranked due to their quality content, best keyword strategy, and relevance to the query. These results are displayed along with a title, the link of that page, short description which tells you about the content.

A sponsored result, as mentioned earlier, is a paid ad. The results that are displayed on the page that are paid mentions “ad” along with the URL. Advertisers can use what they want to display on the results page. They are typically displayed at the top and bottom of the search results.

Organic and Paid Result

What Is Google Knowledge Graph

A knowledge base result that is presented on the right side of the search results in the “infobox”. It is mainly to enhance the consumer experience by giving them the best information gathered from various sources. This is pulled for some commonly asked questions from sources across the web to provide simple and to-the-point answers to the questions. Some SERPs have comparatively more information in the knowledge graph for various topics depending on the intent of the searches – informational, navigational, and transactional.

What Is Google Knowledge Graph

Featured Snippets – What Do They Mean

Selected searches that are the top results for a given keyword are featured in snippets in Google’s organic result section. This answer’s the users’ query in a short and to-the-point way. If you have a website and one or more pages of that website are featured in snippets, that means that you get additional brand exposure.

Featured Snippets

Image Carousel In SERP

Image carousels are a series of images along with captions that are relevant to your search. These images are clickable and will take you to the respective websites. The image carousel is like the knowledge graph which includes all the related image results to your search. You can navigate through all the options in the carousel – people. movies, places, or any other thing that you searched.

Image Carousel

Video Results In SERP

When you type in a query about a recipe or a song, you are often provided with the YouTube video suggestions in the result page. These suggestions are a video feature that shows the most relevant ranked results.

These were a few of the features that you see on a Search result page. We will discuss this further in my next blog on the search feature.

I hope you got a glimpse of what a SERP is and how it is supposed to work. For any questions, you can comment in the reply to the box below.

A question for you – How can we bring our webpage in SERP snippet feature?