Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS)

serp results page explained

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In this lesson, we are going to learn what is search engine results page, main elements in it and how you can use it effectively.

What is SERP?

SERP stands for search engine result page which is the list of results you get back once you press the search button in the search engine.

Now let’s take a look at all the main elements which you can find within SERP pages.

We will mainly focus on Google for SEO optimization due to its popularity as we saw in our previous lesson, So in this guide, I will use Google as an example to explain SERP page elements.

SERP Elements

Google auto suggest feature in SERP.
Google’s auto suggest feature

Google auto-suggest – This hidden element inside the search results page where when typing something in Google’s search bar it will try to suggest you related keywords according to its database and other searchers’ past history.

Types of search features inside Google search engine
Types of search features inside Google search engine

There are different tabs in search results page which organize the content using logical groups. These include:

  • All – This is the default which shows all the results
  • Images – Displaying image results.
  • News – Displaying news results.
  • Maps – Displaying location & navigational results.
  • Books – Displaying books & educational results.
  • Shopping – Displaying products & shopping results.
  • Videos – Displaying video results.
Search Engine's settings and tools
Search Engine’s settings and tools

“Tools” filter lets you view web results based on specific time frames such as past hour, past day, past week, past month, past year, and more.

“Setting” filter includes various settings which can customize the search results page such as the number of results you want to see per page, language settings, view search history, and more.

Search results index for the entered query
Search results index for the entered query

The number you see below the search bar is known as search index count for that specific search query.

This shows how many relevant results Google has for that specific search query.

google serp ads
Google’s PPC ads on SERP

These are Google Adwords listings that you pay for each click you receive and it will be displayed on various positions in the SERP pages including top, bottom and sidebar.

Google search engine local results in SERPS
Google search engine local results in SERPS

These are local results which is coming from your local geographical area.

The data comes from “Google My Business” listings and typically will show businesses and services operate in your location.

I will teach more details on this on my free local SEO course.

People also ask section in Google's SERP pages.
People also ask section in Google

People also ask section shows relevant questions which gets asked on industry related to your search query.

When you click on the question it will reveal the answer and link back to the source.

Google shopping ads to relevant search query
Google shopping ads

These are Google shopping results & shopping-based ads from PPC. It’s usually displayed at top of the search results, sidebar and footer for targeted commercial keywords.

A featured snippet example in Google search
A featured snippet example in Google search

Featured Snippet is also known as zero search place snippet where google curates an answer, link, and picture from the most suitable sources and displays them as a single answer at top of organic search results when it makes sense.

Video snippet in Google search SERP page
Video snippet in Google search SERP page

Video results snippet will show relevant videos from video sites (Primarily from YouTube, Dailymotion and Vimeo) related to your search query.

Images snippet in SERP pages
Images snippet in SERP pages

Images results will show relevant images Google found from it’s indexed websites for your search query.

Social snippets in SERP
Social snippets in SERP

Social content snippet shows social messages from popular networks such as Twitter related to your search query.

Google related searches for your search query
Google related searches for your search query

Related searches show related search queries to your search based on search engine database, AI & past searchers history.

Google search navigation
Google search navigation

Page navigation provides a way to navigate search results for your search query.

Conclusion

In this lesson I have tried to highlight the main components of search results page.

Understanding these elements is key for search engine optimization.

In future lessons, we will look at how to use each of these elements for the maximum benefits for SEO and SEM.

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