A Search Engine Result Page (SERP) is what you see after completing a search for a query on a search engine.
The elements on a SERP vary depending on the type of query.
In the main they comprise of two main areas – the paid (sometimes referred to as sponsored content) and the organic listings. The latter is where an SEO is looking to promote your content.
The organic listings sometimes include a Local Pack – that’s the map with business listings – which usually but not always, bisect the paid and organic listings.
In the example below you can see one organic listing below the paid listings, but above the local pack. The other organic listings flow below the pack.
Each result – also know as the content snippet – in the organic listings is typically made up of three components – the page title, the url and the meta description. Find out more about content snippets.
Google, and the other search engines, have devised algorithms to ensure the content snippets returned towards the top of page one in the organic listings, better serve the intent of the search query.
What features are typically found on a Search Engine Result Page(SERP)?
It used to be the case that there would be approximately 10 content snippets listed on each SERP. This is the exception rather than the rule these days.
The features that comprise a SERP vary based on the query. We’ve listed below some of the typical elements you might expect to find.
Also known as position zero (#0), this coveted SERP feature appears above the other organic listings, in a framed box. Highly-sought after, these snippets attract the majority of clicks when they appear, and are the only result delivered on voice search. They typically appear for question queries, the most common formats being simple answer boxes, graphs and tables.
For every search the default SERP is the All results page – or vertical as it is also known. The other verticals are Shopping, Images, Videos, News and so on. These can be accessed via the tabs below the search field.
Google, and the other search engines, promote these other results periodically, once again depending on the query, to provide the most relevant and useful results on the default vertical – including image and video carousels above.
Panels and cards are sometimes returned on the SERPs. They contain information gathered by Google from a variety of different sources – including Google My Business listings. These features tend to attract lots of clicks because of their prominent position.