The pages that a search engine such as Google displays to the user in response to a search query by the user is known as a search engine result page (SERP). Companies providing digital marketing services aim to get their clients’ websites on the first SERP. These pages consist of results that can be categorized into the following primary components:
- Organic results
- Paid ads
- Knowledge panels
- Knowledge card
- Featured snippets or rich snippets
- Video results
- Local results
- Related questions
- Twitter results
- Shopping results
Let’s see these in a little more detail, with Google being the search engine in discussion (since it has a market share of more than 80%).
Google SERP Components Described
These are search results that are determined by Google’s complex and very, very secret algorithm, based on more than 200 ranking factors (that are known). The ranking of an organic search result is based on these ranking factors, and getting a particular search result on the top is what SEO (search engine optimization) is all about.
An organic search result includes three things – a webpage title (title tag), webpage URL, and meta description. With proper optimization, SEO professionals help websites achieve the top SERP rankings since more than 75% of all clicks go to the top three search results. That is why an SEO services company is needed to get the best results.
These search results often appear above the organic results and can be identified by the ‘Ad’ icon beside them. As per market research, 39% of all clicks go to paid search results.
Paid results are also optimized using the pay-per-click (PPC) campaign by various agencies. When these ads target specific keywords that see a high level of competition, Google puts these ads at the top as well as at the bottom.
Google’s knowledge panel is a knowledge base consisting of interlinked descriptions of entities and concepts, among other things. It is what a user sees mostly on the right-side of a SERP, beside the organic or paid results. This piece of information is visible as simple content and is handpicked from highly authoritative sites like Wikipedia.
It is a short box that shows select facts about the search query. It can be a simple date of birth of a person to the names of the books an author has published. A knowledge card mostly provides a definitive answer to the user, ending their search for information and disappointing the hardworking SEO and PPC professionals who constantly worked to get their results to the top. Life’s not fair sometimes!
A featured or rich snippet is a short piece of content that appears separately from organic and paid search results. It is mainly displayed in a box, and the content is taken from a webpage or a video.
It includes the keywords that the user searched for. The featured snippet can take the form of a simple paragraph, FAQ, bulleted or numbered list, or table. The content in a featured snippet is pulled from one of the top-ranking websites.
This category of results usually pops up on a SERP in groups of three with a carousel to go through more of them. More than 85% of video results shown on the SERP are extracted from YouTube.
The videos selected by Google to be shown to users on the SERP are chosen based on the nature of the content in the video. If the video content is relevant to the user’s search, it will show among the video results. You can tell Google that your video is pertinent to a search by adding a relevant description, surrounding text, and video title.
Google sometimes shows a group of results related to your search query that contains a location by shortlisting the local places that may be relevant to your search.
These results often contain names of businesses, ratings, addresses, and contact information. It is sometimes also displayed when Google predicts that you may be searching for a particular service near you.
Related Questions (People Also Ask)
For every customer query, there are several similar queries by other users. These are often displayed under a few of the organic or paid searches. They contain a question with a drop-down arrow which, when clicked upon, shows a brief answer with a link to the webpage that contains that answer.
Google included Tweets in its SERPs in 2015. These are visible when someone searches for a trending topic. It shows the most trending Tweets on Twitter and has a click-through link to the Tweet. This section may also contain the Tweets made by a particular business’s Twitter handle if the user searched for the company or a similar topic.
Google lists some product details under Shopping Results (also called Product Listing Ads), which appear for transactional queries containing specific product-related keywords. These results may also include organic results.
Why are SERPs Important for SEO?
Any search result landing on the second page of Google and after that is practically invisible to users. Since Google sorts results based on the relevancy to the user’s query, it’s vital to get your result on the first SERP using an innovative SERP strategy.
A couple of ways to get your website on the first SERP are SEO and PPC advertising. It’s best to leave these approaches to professionals who have extensive experience with these matters.
You can find talented digital marketing experts at Bharat Arpanet, a digital marketing company with a long list of international clients that placed their trust in our creative and diligent team.
Need your website on the first SERP? Contact us today, and we’ll make it happen by piercing through your competition.