Table of Contents:
In this article you would learn:
- What is the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)?
- Types of SERP Layouts
What is a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) or What does SERP stand for?
SERP i.e. Search engine results page is the page you see after entering a query into Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine. Having your website site links on SERP is an important part of SEO Process.
I run a query in a search engine the page shows up that is a SERP so here’s an example of a SERP for the word avocados. I have queried the word avocados and Google and it delivers me this page. Now there’s a lot of interesting things going on in modern SERPs. So, for example, we see some organic links right so the organic links would be the top result on the page as well as that Wikipedia article.
We see the ‘People also ask’ box and which has some little dropdowns and some additional questions.
Some ‘top stories’ from the news and then we see a knowledge panel on the right-hand side of the screen. So, there’s a lot of interesting things going on in modern SERPs and we must ask ourselves is there anything we can learn just by looking at the page.
About what type of query this is. Now let’s alter our query just slightly and see what happens so here I’m looking at avocados with an ‘S’ but what if I remove the ‘S’ and just look at the word avocado. Well now see that Wikipedia article moves to the top the 12 proven health benefits article moves down from there. So basically, we’ve had the second result become the first result and the first result become the second result.
We see the “People also ask” questions have changed the top stories and some of the images and then over on the right-hand side some changes are noticed. So have a relook at the above 2 images, a slight change looks at the top stories slight changes so minor changes in the search queries can have a not insignificant change to the way the results are displayed.
Let’s do another change so here I’ve looked at ‘avocado calories’ so I’ve added an additional component to this query and that search engine result page or SERP has changed fairly dramatically so here we see a little calculator by the looks of it that say it’s from the USDA we see that ‘People also Ask’ box has different queries in it the organic results are pushed down to the bottom of the page.
Over there and then everything that shows up in the knowledge panel on the right-hand side. We are now missing some images and a lot more nutritional facts are shown.
So now with a new query, let’s make another change ‘avocado toast’, I use the same word ‘avocado’ add the word ‘toast’ to it now the entire page changes.
All we see are recipes. There’s a lot of images that show up some with star ratings in the results. There are some images on the right-hand side that are purely looking at ‘avocado toast’.
When we look at SERPs (search engine result pages), what we want to be paying attention to is what shows up. What changes with minor changes in those different search queries and if we can try to derive.
This is ‘Search Intent’. Search intent is the way or the intent that the person has when they’re running the query.
What is it that they want to learn or see or do by completing that query and so we want to assess search intent you can see amongst all those different examples were used with minor variations the search intent changed?
Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Features and Its Layout
You can’t do SEO without analysing a ton of SERPs search engine result pages. It’s important to understand the different elements of the SERP and how or why information shows up in each of the different areas. Here I will walk through the various elements that might show up on a SERP depending on the phrase that’s being searched at the top of the page.
We’ll see the paid results, typically you’ll see four ads and if multiple ad extensions are showing this might be all you see above the fold for more competitive terms. You might also see a block of AdWords ads at the bottom of the page.
The SERP will also show the standard ten blue links the organic results that you’re targeting with your SEO efforts those are the basics. They’re present on nearly every search you’ll possibly try beyond the standard organic and paid listings you could also see any combination of the following 12 elements.
Types of SERP Layouts
SERP Layout for ‘Featured snippets’
A featured snippet is a quick answer, the summary of the answer to the search query pulled from an authoritative web page the snippet displays the source pages title and URL as well. There are three kinds of featured snippets based on the type of query and the format of the answer.
- paragraph snippets
- list snippets and
- table snippets
Most featured snippets are paragraph snippets.
Snippets are displayed above the organic search results effectively creating a position zero.
SERP Layout for ‘Shopping Results’
The SERP results also display above the organic results. These are paid results called product listing ads. Typically, They’re displayed in carousel format and include images price information and review stars.
SERP Layout for ‘Image Packs’
Image packs can appear at any organic position, and they show a horizontal row of images that click through to a Google Images search.
If Google determines that visual content would be a valuable answer to the query an image pack might be displayed.
SERP Layout for ‘In-depth Articles’
If a search query is broad or ambiguous Google sometimes displays an in-depth articles widget. Three articles appear in the block and while they look almost exactly like the standard organic results. The block only counts for one organic position. These article blocks are almost always articles from huge publishers with massive authority.
SERP Layout for ‘Knowledge Card’
Knowledge cards typically appear at the top of the SERP. Like featured snippets instead of pulling the answer from an authoritative page, they tend to be information that’s in the public domain. Either from human-edited data or from a data stream from a Google partner. Unlike featured snippets, it’s not an element that you’ll be able to target with your SEO efforts.
SERP Layout for ‘Knowledge Panel’
Knowledge panels appear to the right side of the standard organic results. The information that populates a knowledge panel is pulled from various sources including Google Data partnerships human edited sites like Wikipedia and data from Google’s site index.
While you can’t target a generic knowledge panel with your SEO efforts you will be able to influence what shows up in the knowledge panel. For a brand search for your own company or your client’s company.
SERP Layout for ‘Local Pack’
If the phrase you’re searching for has local intent Google will display a local pack in the SERP. The local pack appears at the top of organic results and is specially spaced dominating on mobile. The local pack includes a map and three locations with address and phone number information displayed for each location. Depending on the type of local query the pack will also display a website link, a directions link or image and pricing information.
SERP Layout for ‘News Box’
if you’re searching for something that’s newsworthy or relevant to current events Google might include a news box in the SERP. results are pulled from Google News the block is labelled in the news and includes several links to articles on the topic.
SERP Layout for ‘Tweets’
For certain queries Google displays tweets directly in the syrup mixed in with the standard organic results you can’t optimize to show up here but visually your brand gets more recognition on the SERP which could boost your perceived relevancy to the user.
SERP Layout for ‘Videos’
Certain keywords might display video results it’s more likely that YouTube videos will be displayed. But other hosts can achieve these results as well.