What Is SERP? All About Search Engine Result Pages

Google offers you plenty of answers to your search query, but it’s not possible to go through each one of them meticulously. That is why Google categorizes these search results in order from top to low quality. These websites then get listed on the result pages of Google. These results pages are known as SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). But why are SERPs important? Let’s find out.

What Is SERP?

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are Google’s (and other search engines’) response to a user’s search query. All the clickable options for you to get the information you are seeking from Google are the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). These results usually come as linked descriptors, with URLs beneath them and a short description of what you will find on the page.

Why Do SERPs Matter for SEO?

It is from the search engine result page that your potential customers make the first contact with your brand. However, only the first few options on the first page get enough clicks. That’s why ranking high on SERPs is so important.

A high SERP ranking enables greater visibility for your brand and increases the CTR of your website. You need to dominate the SERP space to earn visibility and consequently generate revenue. By securing a good position on the search engine results page, you can stand out from the competition.

SERP Ranking Factors

Various factors contribute to your website’s ranking on the search engine result pages. Here are some of those factors briefly explained:

Content quality

Quality content is content that is original, actionable, and helpful. The quality of your website content is very important. You should be providing valuable information with your content. There is no point in creating websites and webpages with no quality content to deliver. The content on your site should be able to draw users in its little way and be helpful to your visitors.

You should also try to produce unique content that’s not always what is exactly already out there. Let your content also have fresh ideas and perspectives. This way there is something to draw users to your site among others.

Backlinks

Backlinks, which are also known as “inbound links”, are links from one website to a page on another website.
While some sites have been successful without backlinks, they are extremely advantageous and have been helpful to many more sites.

How old your site’s backlinks have an impact on your site’s SERP ranking. Older domains can be more powerful than newer ones, as Google sees them as more trustworthy. Therefore, backlinks from older domains will help your website’s SERP ranking.

Site load speed

Site load speed is the amount of time that it takes for a website or webpage to load. People usually want answers to their questions as fast as possible and tons of research have shown that people care about how quickly website pages load. Search engines have taken note of this and now, site load speed is a ranking for search engine result pages. So, you have to ensure that your website page has a fast loading time to improve your ranking.

Anchor text

Anchor Text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. It is oftentimes blue and underlined. It refers to the visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or another web page. Anchor texts provide search engines with relevant information on the content of the link’s destination.

E-A-T

E-A-T is the short form for Expertise, Authority, and Trust, and they are three essential things to ensure your site is known for. Search engines take these into cognizance to determine your site’s legitimacy and ultimately influences your SERP rank.

Keywords

A keyword is a word or concept of great significance in your content. Perform keyword research before and while you create your content, so you know what keywords to target and what topics to cover. Identify the popular keywords that can attract visitors to your site. You should also consider how the keywords are ranked on Google to determine what keywords you will use in your content.

Website crawlability

Website Crawlability is the search engine’s ability to access content on a website or webpage. This is a very important SERP ranking factor. Search engines cannot rank your website if they can’t even find it. Website crawlability simply allows search engines to scan through a website and review its content so that the page’s content can be determined and also, how it should be ranked.

Types of Results in SERPs

The appearance of SERPs is ever-evolving due to the search engine providers constantly working to improve user experience. However, despite all the additions being made to SERPs, there remain two basic types of results in SERPs which we will now examine.

Organic results

Organic results are the results that most closely match the user’s search query based on relevance. The organic results are a product of the search engine’s algorithm.They make up the bulk of the list. Some SERPs will feature even more organic results than others due to the search in the query. Informational and navigational searches are the types to produce more organic results. Search engines have a range of standards with which they rank results to be displayed.

Paid results

On the other hand, paid results are the results paid for by an advertiser, to be displayed for search engine users. The paid results can take a wide range of forms as it suits the needs of the advertiser. There are text-based ads and there are image-based ads.

What Are SERP Features?

A SERP feature refers to any result of a Google search that is not an traditional organic result. They are the enhanced or enriched results of your search. They include rich snippets, Featured Snippets, images, maps, definitions, Knowledge graphs, answer boxes, videos, and suggested search refinements.

A SERP feature is an additional element that adds something new to the search engine result page. The term SERP features is an unofficial term. Google named these types of search results, “search result features” or “rich results”.

Rich Snippets (such as review stats, product rating), universal results (such as images, Featured Snippets (and knowledge graphs are the most common SERP features to come up with your search results.

As Google and other search engines keep testing and improving these features, you should find out how many of your keywords and which of them would produce a SERP feature in the results.

Types of SERP Features

Here are some of the most common types of SERP features you will come across especially on Google. They do not all appear on every search. The type of SERP features you will see is determined by your type of search.

1. Adwords

These are advertisements that come as part of search results. There is usually an Ad label next to them. They push organic results down the SERP.

2. Featured Snippets

These are like a different class of organic results where information is extracted from a target page. These are short sections of content usually pulled from a web page or a video. Text-based Featured Snippets are commonly bulleted lists, numbered lists, and tables. There are also video feature snippets.

Most times, featured snippets pull out the content from the page that responds to the search in the most specific way.

Featured snippets always show up at the top of the SERP, pushing organic results down. This can be a threat. However, there is also the inherent opportunity of your site showing up inside of a featured snippet.

3. Top stories

These are search results that are organic-driven links to news articles about the specific topic in the query. And they do not only show up when you are searching for trending keywords.

4. Image pack

Image packs are results displayed as a horizontal row of image links. Certain searches require image results. Where the search seems so, Google provides the image results from Google images for you. The images are usually displayed on a horizontal role, and clicking would lead you to a google images search.

5. Local pack

This is a result displayed for any search query with local intent. This shows up for users’ local searches. For example, when a person searches for “bookshops near me” or searches for a type of business and puts a geographical location in the query too, the list of business or company options that pop up alongside the map makes up the local pack. They also appear when Google decides to aid your search by going the extra mile to show you the kind of business or service providers you’re searching for near you.

6. Knowledge panel

A Knowledge panel is an information box that appears on Google when you search for things that are in the Knowledge Graph.This shows up on the right side of the organic results on a desktop screen. It gives basic info and stats for a brand, company, or an important person. Most of the data provided there are gotten from handpicked sources like Wikipedia and Crunchbase.

7. Knowledge card

These give information from different sources ranging from semantic data from human-edited sources to semantic data extracted from the Google index to private data partnerships. They typically appear at the top of the SERP on a desktop search.

It is quite useful if you understand which keywords are affected by Knowledge Graph results, as it can help you in prioritizing keywords to target, as well as helping you understand how Google stores entity data about the world.

8. In-depth article

In-depth articles are long technical articles usually in a separate block, containing three of these articles. If your search contains broad or ambiguous terms, Google may show a block of “in-depth” articles, which are almost not easily differentiable from organic search results. The major difference is that they don’t follow the same ranking rules as core organic results, and are also dominated by large publishers. A block of three articles occupies one organic position.

9. Newsbox

Topics that are time-sensitive and newsworthy generate a block of results from Google News.

10. Related questions

In the middle of the SERP, Google now puts in a “People also ask” box. This box contains questions Google believes are related to your search. When you click on one of the questions in this box, it expands out with an answer.

11. Reviews

Sometimes, Google displays review stars and rating data for certain products, recipes, and other items of such.

12. Video results

The video results usually show up as three with the option to see more. Most of the video results are pulled from YouTube. The keyword in the search most probably determines whether or not it should have video results. Also, certain searches need the aid of video results. Such as searches like “how to ride a bicycle”.

13. Direct answer box

The direct answer box is a box at the top of the SERP which contains a straightforward answer to the question in the query. Certain queries have direct answers, as they are specific questions. So, Google directly spits out an answer to these questions. These answers are considered public domain, so no link or source gets credited.

14. Tweets

Google also pulls results from Twitter, mostly when you search for popular brands and persons. This began in 2015. When tweet results are featured, you will usually see three tweets from the page. This can strengthen a brand’s visual presence.

15. Google shopping results

Google Shopping Results, also known as “Product Listing Ads” are the results that appear for keywords around a specific product. They sell products directly with adequate information, such as images and pricing. Although most of these results are ads, Google also features some organic results too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In the world of SEO, every website’s main objective is to rank higher in the SERP. However, to understand the importance of SERP, one has to address the common questions. 

1. What is the SERP?


A search engine results page is the page you see when you enter a query into Google or Yahoo or any other search engine.


2. Why is SERP important?


SERP is important because the higher a company, brand, or business’s website ranks on the results page, the more searchers will click on and visit the website.


3. What are the basic elements of SERP?


Organic search results, the query, and paid advertisements are the three main elements of the search engine result pages.


4. What are SERP features?


SERP features are the other different types of enhanced results found asides from the organic results and paid ads, such as rich snippets, Featured Snippets, images, maps, definitions, Knowledge graphs, answer boxes, videos, and suggested search refinements.


5. What is on-SERP SEO?


On-SERP SEO is an SEO strategy where you focus on occupying as many placements as possible within a target Google SERP. It is the process of fully optimizing the first page of a search engine’s results for your brand, company, or business to maximize its visibility.

Conclusion

Google and other search engines are constantly updating their product in a bid to improve user experience. To stay relevant and even climb the search engine result page, you need to remember what the page is all about, which is answering users’ questions in the most accurate and useful way possible.

You can employ keyword research to help you in building your content and creating titles. Also, be deliberate with your link building. Ensure that it makes you or your brand appear as an authority on the subject.

In all, just ensure that you are answering the users’ questions and also giving them a great user experience on your site.

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