11 features you need to know

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You have certainly seen and clicked on a SERP. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ve clicked on more than one today.

Every time you type or phrase a Google search, for example, the results are displayed on a search engine results page. Besides the actual search results, there are several other items on the page that you can find on a SERP.

In this article, you’ll learn more about what a SERP is and everything you can expect to find on a typical Google SERP. Let’s dive in.

What is a SERP?

SERP stands for Search engine results page. This is the page with all the search results returned on any search engine.

Google SERP cropped

You see one every time you search. Essentially, every time you do a search, your search engine shows you a SERP. The page usually contains links to websites related to your search, but many modern search engines display additional content as well.

Everything you can find on a typical SERP

Here’s everything you can expect to find on a typical SERP.

1. Announcements

Ads are among the first features you’ll notice on most SERPs. Whether it’s Google Ads or Sponsored Results on Bing, there are no advertising loopholes on the SERPs. They often appear at the top and bottom of SERPs for many search queries or keywords.

Google Ads

These paid ad results are usually placed above other organic search results. You can easily identify them as they are labeled as A d. For example, if you search for the query “web host”, you will notice that the top results are all ads, displayed according to the highest bidder.

There are also ads at the bottom of the page. On the other hand, if you search for the term “work from home” you will notice that there are no ads, just organic search results. You may want to rank the keywords ad-free if you want maximum visibility on the first page.

Related: Search Engines To Find More Than Google Shows

Sometimes when you do a search you’ll notice a snippet of content, usually at the top of the SERP. On Google, you’ll find it just above the People also ask box. These featured snippets attempt to answer your question by summarizing the key points related to your query.

Featured excerpts

Additionally, snippets typically contain definitions, tables, steps, and lists to reduce viewing of all results. Featured Snippets may also contain the featured image from the original blog post.

3. Image pack

If you search for “cute dogs”, for example, Google will show you a picture pack of different dog breeds. These images are also displayed at the top of the SERP, as are the featured snippets. The returned images are taken from the search engine’s image database.

Image Pack

With the Comments option, you can flag or flag an image as sexually explicit, harmful or dangerous, hateful or otherwise. You can click See everything to see the whole gallery.

4. Video

If you enter “Maradona Goals” you will get the main video result at the top of the SERP and other similar videos below.

Videos

Video results are usually taken from YouTube. They display the thumbnail, title, duration and upload date of videos. You can click on the See everything button to expand the results.

If you enter “YouTube SEO” for example, and scroll down the SERP, you’ll come across a section showing video results. The first video also displays a carousel showing different timestamps.

Video carousel

They present key video data such as thumbnail, duration, subject, channel, and date. You can press the Next button to see more videos.

6. Knowledge panel

For most searches, your search engine will return a section dedicated to your research topic. On Google, this is called a Knowledge Panel. Knowledge panels contain key information about entities in Google’s Knowledge Graph. You can find knowledge panels on the right side of your SERP.

For example, if you search for “Google”, the Google knowledge panel will show you information such as Google website, Wikipedia link, date founded, parent organization, CEO, head office, affiliates, founders, social profiles and a “People Also Search” box.

7. Local pack

Also known as a Map Pack, a local pack is the first three results you see on a SERP when you search for terms your search engine considers local (usually locations closest to you).

For example, if you search for “salons near me,” you should get a SERP showing three salons that may be near you. These are usually the first three results.

Local packages

They contain rich snippets showing average rating and number of reviews, years in business, location, phone numbers, opening and closing times, website links, and driving directions.

Related: The Best Google Search Cheat Sheet: Tips, Operators & Commands You Should Know

8. Local teaser pack

Local teaser packs are similar to local packs, but are more focused on booking type businesses. They provide you with key information regarding businesses such as hotels and restaurants. On Google, companies registered on Google My Business have priority.

You will be presented with a local teaser pack when you enter a search such as “hotels near me”.

Local teaser packs

Local teaser packs often return four top-rated results. For a “nearby hotels” search, you can expect to find key information on dates, budget options, guests, reviews and ratings, pool, parking, Wi-Fi availability, as well as directions.

9. The best stories

Top Stories is another important feature of the SERP. You may get the best results for certain searches on hot topics or news about people, events, things, or places.

Best Stories

Top Articles features trends from three top publications with links to read full articles and the option to show more similar results. It also shows the time of posting, so you can have a sense of recency.

Another important feature that you can find on most SERPs is the People also ask box. It has drop-down lists showing similar questions that other people are asking as well.

People also ask

These can help you refine your search or explore other topics related to your search query. If you click on the drop-down menu, it will expand to reveal the questions people frequently ask.

This is slightly different from associated researches section at the bottom of the SERP. Instead, this section lists searches related to your primary search.

associated researches

11. Other SERP features

Sitelinks can direct you to a specific page on a website. If you’re looking for MUO, for example, sitelinks may direct you to the Windows or Android section.

Search results can also display shopping results that you can click to purchase products online. Some SERPs can even serve as Twitter cards when searching for a specific person or business.

Improve your search results with knowledge of SERPs

These are all the essential features that you can find on a typical SERP. Search engines can add or remove features at any time. You can enrich your search experience by researching and maximizing these SERP features.


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