Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

What Are Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)?

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are the website pages Google displays in response to a user’s search query.

The SERPs list the most relevant pages and content based on the user’s internet search.

Let me explain:

Search engines like Google use complex algorithms to organise information. When a user searches in Google, they see a list of websites with the information they need.

The primary goal of search engines is to help you find relevant information as quickly as possible.

It’s as simple as that!

The search engine results pages are “how” you see that information. They typically include a mix of:

    • Organic Results – Websites that rank organically in the SERPs.
    • Paid Advertisements – Websites that pay to be in the SERPs.
    • SERP Features – Special elements that add more information to the SERPs, like featured snippets, people also ask and knowledge panels.
    • Rich Results – Enhanced listings that improve the user experience, such as images, ratings and reviews.

The search engine results pages make information more accessible to every user. They display helpful results so you can choose where to go next!

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Why Are SERPs Important?

SERPs are important because they determine how visible your website is online.

Think of it like a funnel to your website. When the user types in a keyword, your website is displayed in the SERPs and you get the click.

The higher you rank the SERPs, the more clicks (organic traffic) you get.

Who doesn’t want that right?

But that’s not all…

Organic traffic is considered the most qualified traffic you can get.

They come to you – You don’t reach out to them.

That means people tend to trust the websites they find in the SERPs. And SEO traffic has the highest conversion rates.

That’s a win-win for business owners.

There are over 200+ Google ranking factors that determine which pages rank at the top of the SERPs and in which order.

That’s why SEO is such a valuable skill for businesses and website owners.

What Do Rich Results Display On SERPs?

The rich results that are displayed on the search engine results pages (SERPs) include:

    • Images
    • Ratings
    • Reviews
    • Price details
    • Event information
    • Cooking times
    • And more

rich results example

These elements make the SERPs more useful.

The truth is that Google wants to display as much information as possible to the user. Their goal is to answer the search intent quickly and drive people to the right website.

The rich results give the user more information about what they will find when they click on a website.

List Of Common SERP Features

Here’s a list of common SERP features you will see in Google:

1. Featured Snippets

Featured Snippets are concise answers displayed at the top of Google’s search engine results pages.

featured snippet example

The information is extracted directly from web pages.

Featured snippets provide quick and direct answers to users’ queries without them needing to click anywhere. The answer is displayed as:

    • Text
    • Lists
    • Tables
    • Videos

The link is also provided directly to the site where the featured snippet answer was taken.

2. Knowledge Panels

Knowledge Panels appear on the right side of Google’s search results.

knowledge panels example

They provide a comprehensive summary about a specific

    • Person
    • Place
    • Organisation
    • Business

Google pulls data and information from various sources around the web.

Their goal is to offer an “at-a-glance overview” with key facts and links to social profiles.

3. Local Packs

Local Packs display a map with three relevant local business listings underneath it.

local pack example

Local packs are only displayed when a local search query is used.

They also display essential information like business names, addresses, phone numbers and reviews.

If you run a local business…

You should be investing in local SEO!

4. Image Packs

Sometimes a picture is more useful than words.

Image Packs are rows of images that appear as a block at the top of the SERPs.

image pack example

They are displayed when an image will be more helpful in answering the user’s search query. The images are also linked directly to the website from which Google pulled them.

5. Video Results

Video Results include thumbnails of relevant videos alongside the standard text results.

video results

Most video results come from YouTube (also owned by Google). But they can also be taken from other platforms such as Vimeo.

The goal is to provide videos that might be more helpful than written content.

6. People Also Ask

The People Also Ask (PAA) section consists of questions related to the original search query.

people also ask serps example

Clicking any questions will reveal a concise answer and a link to the source to learn more.

The PAA section is a staple in the Google search engine results pages and helps users explore related topics quickly.

7. Top Stories

Top Stories highlight recent news articles related to the search term.

They usually appear directly under the search bar at the top of the SERPs.

top stories example

Google has a whole platform called Google News dedicated to trending topics and news articles.

That means they’ve gotten good at figuring out why keyword types should display the top stories feature.

8. Site Links

Do a quick search for your website.

See those links under your website homepage?

site links example

Those are called site links. They appear under the main website link to help direct users to specific sections of your website.

Think of site links as a way of extending your website navigation into the search engine results pages.

9. AI Overviews

Google AI overviews are part of Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE).

Think of them as concise summaries that appear at the top of search results for some queries.

google search ai overview example

They offer a more personalised result by using generative AI to create a response that directly answers the search intent.

Google AI overviews don’t appear for every search. They only show when Google’s system determines that an AI answer would be beneficial to the user.

Follow this guide to learn how to disable Google’s AI overview in the search results.

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