What is the search engine results page (SERP)?
The very first question to answer before proceeding to the major features is “What is a SERP?” The SERP definition is the following:” A web page generated by the search engine as a response to a user request.” The abbreviation stands for search engine results page. If to explain in simple words, serp means when you want to find some information and write the related keyword phrase and the search engine you use gives you feedback in the form of a page with the results found. These results are those links with the details about the topic of your request.
The main elements of SERP are:
- Direct search results, consisting of links to sites. This is the natural issuance of best search engines, where sites are struggling for the highest positions and better ranking. The search results page contains, by default, 10 links, but the number can be changed in the search settings;
- Blocks with contextual advertising;
- Small fields before search results. They can contain typing errors, quick response to a user request, a calculator, and so on;
- Pictures are issued in response to a particular search query;
- Related queries – the search query is refined. The user is offered word forms or similar requests;
- Elements of management – this includes links to go to the site, prompts when entering a user request.
Since Google appearance, the organic results of SERP haven’t changed much up to the present time. However, the use of AdWords has contributed to the fact that Google started to include new SERP non-organic results.
Now you know what is SERP and it is high time to look at its major features, among which one differentiate the following four major features:
- Results obtained with the help of keywords bidding are called Paid Results.
- Definite information that one can find in the boxes is called Knowledge Graph.
- Visualization appearing in addition to those that have already been found are known as Snippets.
- Details, which appear together with the organic findings, are known as Universal Results.
The most popular SERP features
- AdWords Bottom/Top: usually results can be seen either above or below the organic results. Such advertisements have their ranking according to their both usefulness and relevance.
- Featured Snippet: Main principle here is to get the necessary information, which isn’t contained in the Knowledge Graph. The index can provide it. Such snippets are used to find some very specific details that are located on the relevant page. You need to distinguish rich snippet and feature snippet. Here SERP ranking from one to five is usually successful.
- Image Pack: This feature gives the results on the images, which a person is looking for. They are obtained with the help of a special Google SERP request.
- In-Depth Article: Looking for some broad terms, one is going to find articles that are known as “in-depth.” They are called so because they are up to five thousand words and provided by trustworthy writers. The search for the top-notch quality articles uses different SERPs ranking rules.
- Knowledge Card: As one may guess from the name of this feature, it is the part of the already mentioned Knowledge Graph, which contains the semantic information added either by people or the data may be extracted from the index. One more possibility to get the knowledge card results is to have information agreements with partners. If to have a clear picture of the Google data storage mechanism, one can benefit from the use of keywords.
- Knowledge Panel: the same as Knowledge card search means that the results are got thanks to the data added either by human resources or thanks to the partners’ agreements. Such results can be found to the right of the organic results.
- Local Pack: This is a pack of three most suitable locations Google provides for those key phrases, which contain the geographical meaning of “cheap cafes London.” This is most frequently used on smartphones nowadays. Mobile devices have caused the habit of viewing results rather vertically than horizontally. Users are searching for the quickest way to the required content. The knowledge of local SEO is a big plus here.
- Local Teaser Pack: this feature is going to provide you with the helpful tips where the restaurants and hotels are situated, their working hours. Moreover, all information that can be helpful, for example, photos of the place you are looking for as well as the reviews are here as well.
- News Box: This is a category of results, which are from Google News. The procedure of getting in the news block differs much from the process of appearing in the organic results.
- Related Questions: These are all questions that the search engine considers to be relative to your topic. They can be situated in various places due to the fact that they resemble a featured snippet. If to be exact, such questions are keywords with snippets. It is possible to benefit from the use of the related questions to discover snippet keyword opportunities.
- Reviews: This feature is really helpful when one wants to know more about goods or services. Rating information in the SERPs rank can be found somewhere between the URL and snippet.
- Shopping Results: Paid results for some goods and services. There will be their cost and relevant pictures. Combine paid advertisements and organic search results to promote the brand. One study on Honda’s visibility in search results revealed that the combination of these two areas leads to a significant increase in association with the brand association, promotes brand recall and the formation of a purchase decision. This placement resembles the AdWords.Paid text items in Google work better when they are closely related to the essence of the search query. When navigating, people often quickly look through the results of issuance, until they see the brand they trust. With information search, users are more interested in feedback and comparison of sites.Think about the intentions of users (which type of search they prefer) and build your advertising strategy accordingly. For example, pay attention to the fact that the headers contain keywords to which you made bids, keywords should be based on the intentions of users.
- Site Links: Those looking for the definite sites are going to face a choice of up to ten links. The way the links look is under the influence of three factors, among which the main criterion of the SERP rank checker is that it should be a branded site. Moreover, traffic is not the last factor here.
- Tweet: Since 2015 one can find the results from Tweeter in combination with the organic results. However, they are organic, even though such tweets are used to add some visual effect.
- Video: The results like YouTube video are going to appear when you use specific keywords. Video feature nowadays is considered more of organic results.
What is knowledge graph and which results does it provide?
If you ask yourself “How can I improve my SERP ranking fast?”, the quickest way is implementing knowledge graph from Google. The Google Knowledge Graph provides well-structured and detailed data in cases where people turn to the search engine looking for certain facts. It allows you to find SERP meaning you are looking for, without having to click on certain sites. Allocate a relevant and irrelevant knowledge network:
- An irrelevant knowledge graph provides such information, which ultimately directs the user’s attention to the results of organic issuance. The knowledge network appears in response to requests for facts or numerical values or relating to known personalities, places, and phenomena. In your content strategy, try to create answers to potential user requests.
- A relevant knowledge graph can divert a significant part of attention from the organic results. For example, imagine that you are going to New Orleans and want to know what the weather conditions will be like there. Ask Google for help and find the information you need. Having found all the necessary information in the relevant knowledge network, the user does not even want to click on the links, which can affect the traffic reduction of certain companies.
Therefore, in this case, it is important to get into the first or second line of organic issuance. Include important content in metadata and title tags and apply, where possible, schema markup so that your company stands out in the overall search engine result pages, moving the user’s attention from the knowledge network to your site.
Despite the fact that there may be a decrease in clicks on the top results of organic results in the case when Google issues a relevant knowledge network, the first lines are still the most popular among users. Keep in mind that awareness of the brand is still affected by the impression created by users from the organic results.