Search Engine Results Page (SERP’s) Meaning & Features

In this article, we are going to learn what is SERP or search engine results page. In this article, we are going to learn what it is, what are the main elements within it, and how you can effectively use them.

What is SERP?

It stands for Search Engine Results Page it is the list of the results page you get back once you type something and press enter in the search bar in search engines.

Main Elements in SERP:

Now let’s take a look at the main elements you can typically see in a SERP page. In this article and I’m going to use Google as an example, since we found out that it is a market leader and most of our SEO is going to be focused on that.

1.    Google Auto-Suggest

It’s a hidden element inside the search results page when you type something on the search box. Google will try to auto-suggest or auto-complete your search query according to the relevant keywords it has from a database or by analyzing the correlations using past user searchers’ data. Below the search bar, you will see different tabs within the search results page, these are divided into logical groups which to make more sense for you.

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

    • “All” where it will show all different media content related to your search query.
    • The image’s tab shows the image results for your search query.
    • News shows, the news media, or press release content for your search query.
    • Maps shows navigational or location-based results for your search query.
    • Books show books or do occasional reports related to your search query.
    • Shopping display shoppingbased ads or all shopping results related to your search query.
    • Video display video results related to your search query.
    • And also, you can see 2 more buttons below the search bar, which is tools and settings, tools filter lets you view the search results from a specific timeframe, such as I only want to see results from the past hour or a past day or past week or past month or past year and more. The custom date range is also possible. The setting filter includes various settings where you can customize the search results page such as the number of results you want to see for each page. Language settings for the search results page. Your search history and more options are available.

The number you see below these tabs and settings screen is known as the search index count for that particular search query. This is the estimate of the number which shows roughly how many results are there in the Google search index related to the search query, which you entered.

The next listing element you might see is called Google AdWords listing these PPC advertising programs run by Google, where you pay them to display these ads on your targeted search query in SERP pages. These will be typically shown on the top of the page or bottom or sidebar. And also, typically you would see it as marked as an ad at the beginning of that snippet. You use it to identify it as AD.

2.    Local Results Snippet:

The next one is the local results snippet; these are the results when your search query brings back any relevant businesses or services from that geographical area. This data comes from Google my business listings, I will explain this in the local SEO course in detail. And typically, will show businesses and services that operate in your location, which is related to the search query which you are performing.

3.    People also Ask Section:

This element shows relevant questions which get all on your industry related to your search query using big data and search engines to advance processing language on understanding the user intent. Google tries to come up with these questions for relating to your search query. These are some of the popular questions which get asked. And when you click on this question, you will see more questions gets displayed and it will also reveal the answer with the link for the source article.

4.    Google Shopping Results:

The next snippet is known as Google shopping results or shopping-based ads from PPC. It is usually displayed the same as the PPC at the top, footer, and sidebar but you would see these kinds of snippets mainly for a commercial intent keyword or product keywords.

5.    Featured Snippet:

This element is also known as zero search place snippet, where Google tried to curate an answer, link, and picture or video from a most suitable sources and display them as a single answer at the top of organic search results when it makes sense. You would typically see featured snippet for informational search queries.

6.    Video Results Snippet:

Video results snippets element will show relevant videos from the video sites primarily YouTube, but also Dailymotion and Vimeo, related to your search query. These are search queries Google understands that the user might be looking for a video compared to other media content, so it will feature a video snippet as a result for the search query.

For example, when someone searches how to tie a tie, Google understands that he’s looking for an instructional video compared to reading an article. So, it shows the videos prominently on SERP pages.

7.    Image Results Snippet:

Image results snippet element will show relevant images google found from websites for that search query. Typically, when used, Google is unable to predict the user intent and or if it’s clearly able to understand user intent and then it will try to suggest image snippets within their web indexed results. So, you can see the potential images related to their search query.

8.    Social Content Snippet:

Social content snippet this where when you type, something related to social hashtags, socially popular words, keywords, celebrity name, or anything of that nature then it will try to bring up certain social messages or any data from that particular profile and display within their search results pages. Often you will see Twitter-related content in social media for these examples.

The related element where these can be found at the bottom of the SERP result pages. These will show related search queries for the search keyword or query you have typed this data comes from their database using processing capabilities, understanding the user intent and searcher’s history. These suggest suggestions relating to your search where any who typed these keywords for that.

9.    Page Navigation Snippet:

Page navigation is a simple element that is pretty easy to understand Google only displays an average of 10 results per page. So, if you want to browse more than 10 results, you can use this navigation to go through until you find what you are looking for.


So, in conclusion, in this article, I tried to highlight the main component of the search results page. Understanding these elements are key for search engine optimization in the future, because in future articles, we will look at how to use each of these elements for maximum benefit for SEO and as well as for SEM.

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