March 23, 2023

“SERP” stands for “search engine outcomes web page.”

A SERP is the web page {that a} search engine shows to a consumer after they conduct a search. Google SERPs usually embrace seven to 10 hyperlinks to totally different webpages which might be related to the consumer’s question, together with extra info or photographs.

Many SERPs comprise paid adverts on the high, adopted by natural outcomes beneath. 

Like this:

SERP with paid and organic results

Nonetheless, the SERP for one key phrase can look lots totally different from the SERP for an additional.

And people variations have a huge effect on search engine optimization visitors.

Be taught extra in our information under.

What’s on a Google SERP? And How Do SERP Rankings Work?

Search engine outcomes pages can embrace three forms of listings:

Natural search outcomes, which appear to be this:

Organic search results example

Paid search outcomes, that are recognized with the phrase “Advert:”

Paid search result example

And SERP options, which might present up in numerous other ways. 

One widespread SERP function is the “Folks Additionally Ask” field. 

Which seems to be like this:

People Also Ask example

Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at all three forms of search outcomes.

We’ll focus on the place they arrive from and the way they have an effect on search engine optimization.

Natural Search Outcomes

Google will get trillions of searches per 12 months. 

And 95% of the clicks from these searches go to the natural (unpaid) search outcomes.

Which is why curiosity in search engine optimization has been rising and rising.

Search interest in SEO over time

Most of search engine optimization boils down to at least one idea:

The upper a search result’s proven on the SERP, the extra individuals are likely to click on on it.

The #1 rating result’s proven on the high of the SERP. 

So, it normally will get probably the most clicks.

Adopted by #2, and so forth:

Search rankings example

How a lot do rankings matter, precisely?

Quite a bit.

Listed below are the common click-through charges on Google by rating place, in response to a study by Backlinko:

  1. 31.73%
  2. 24.71%
  3. 18.66%
  4. 13.60%
  5. 9.51%

And the drop-off continues from there. 

In reality, the #1 rating normally will get 10x extra clicks than the #10 rating.

So how does a web page get ranked #1?

Properly, Google depends on tons of of various rating elements to resolve.

However you’ll be able to divide them into two main classes:

  • On-page search engine optimization elements. (Just like the web page’s content material and meta tags.)

On-page elements additionally have an effect on one thing else:

The look of the search outcomes.

Particularly, they management the search outcome “snippet” that’s proven on the SERP.

A primary search snippet consists of three issues:

1. The URL or breadcrumbs, that are based mostly on the web page’s URL and navigational hyperlinks.

Domain and breadcrumbs in a search snippet

2. The title hyperlink, which is normally based mostly on the web page’s meta title tag. 

Title link in a search result

3. And the description, which is normally based mostly on the web page’s meta description. 

Description in a search result

That’s the fundamental construction.

However some search snippets are extra complicated than that.

For instance, right here is the highest outcome for the search question “greatest tenting range.”

You’ll be able to see it has a number of extra components: 

OutdoorGearLab rich snippet

Not like our primary search snippet, this one has:

  • A picture on the facet
  • A star score within the center
  • And extra hyperlinks (referred to as “sitelinks”) on the backside

Further items of knowledge like these are referred to as “wealthy snippets.”

And so they make the search outcome stand out, which might improve its CTR and visitors.

In different phrases:

Wealthy snippets are one of many methods you may get extra visits from a SERP—even with out enhancing your rankings.

(SERP options are one other approach. However we’ll come again to these in a minute.)

Paid search outcomes are the second sort of itemizing that may seem on a SERP.

On Google, paid search outcomes are managed through Google Ads. And so they’re paid for on a cost-per-click foundation.

Google Search Adverts are sometimes proven on the high of the SERP above all of the natural outcomes. 

Like this:

Search ads for wireless earbuds

Search adverts may also be displayed on the backside of the SERP, after the natural outcomes:

Google search ads at the bottom of SERP

And a few SERPs show Google Procuring Adverts, which ecommerce shops use to promote their merchandise.

For that motive, Google Procuring Adverts normally solely present up if you seek for a bodily product.

Google Procuring Adverts look fairly a bit totally different from common search adverts. 

They comprise much less textual content, for one factor.

And so they additionally embrace photographs.

Google Procuring Adverts may be proven on the high, backside, or in the midst of the SERP. 

Or off to the facet, like this:

Google Shopping Ads on SERP

SERP Options

SERP options are the third sort of outcome that you just’ll see within the SERPs.

A SERP function is something that isn’t a daily natural or paid search outcome.

Like this “Featured Snippet” in regards to the largest star within the universe:

Featured Snippet about UY Scuti

Like common natural search outcomes, SERP options are unpaid.

Google calls SERP options “search options.” 

And according to Google, the purpose of them is to present individuals “the correct info on the proper time within the format that’s most helpful.”

However many entrepreneurs consider SERP options as one thing else:


That’s as a result of SERP options draw consideration and clicks away from the common natural search outcomes.

(In reality, solely about one-third of all Google searches now lead to a click on on an natural outcome. And SERP options are one massive motive why.)

SERP options may even create a distinction in search visitors between two very related key phrases.

Generally a really massive distinction—even when the key phrases have the identical search quantity.

For instance, let’s evaluate the key phrases “mortgage comparability” and “inexpensive mortgages.”

Each key phrases get 1,600 searches per thirty days:

Search volume comparison of two mortgage keywords

And each key phrases should do with mortgages, clearly.

However their SERPs are utterly totally different.

The SERP for “mortgage comparability” is fairly conventional. 

It exhibits 4 search adverts on the high. 

After which goes straight into the common natural outcomes.

Google SERP without SERP features

The SERP for “inexpensive mortgages” is a special story.

It begins with adverts on the high, like the opposite SERP. However then it exhibits two separate SERP options: 

  • A “Native Pack” of Google Maps outcomes
  • And a “Folks Additionally Ask” field of questions

All earlier than attending to the common natural outcomes.

Look how far you must scroll earlier than you’ll be able to see the primary natural outcome on this SERP:

Google SERP with SERP features

As talked about, each of these key phrases get 1,600 searches per thirty days. 

However the variations of their SERPs change their “Click on Potential” fairly a bit.

Click on Potential is the anticipated likelihood of getting a click on by to the common natural outcomes.

And in response to our Key phrase Supervisor instrument, the Click on Potential for the key phrase “mortgage comparability” is 70%. 

Whereas the clicking potential for “inexpensive mortgages” is barely 20%.

Click potential in Keyword Manager

In impact, meaning these key phrases aren’t actually sending 1,600 visits per thirty days to their natural outcomes.

As an alternative:

  • The primary key phrase is driving about 1,120 visits per thirty days to its natural outcomes. As a result of it has 70% click on potential. (70% of 1,600 = 1,120.)
  • Whereas the second key phrase is driving solely 320 visits per thirty days to its natural outcomes. Because it has solely has 20% click on potential. (20% of 1,600 = 320.)

1,120 vs. 320—that’s a 3.5x distinction.

And that’s why SERP options are so essential for search engine optimization.

So it’s a good suggestion to take a look at the Click on Potential for any key phrase earlier than you resolve whether or not to focus on it.

And in addition have a look at the SERP itself. That approach, you’ll know which SERP options you’ll be up towards.

Or to keep away from checking every key phrase manually, you should utilize the “SERP options” metric in Semrush. 

It exhibits what number of SERP options are being displayed for every key phrase. In addition to which sorts they’re.

Right here’s how the “SERP options” column seems to be within the Key phrase Magic Device:

SERP features in Keyword Magic Tool

Now you’ve seen the detrimental impacts that SERP options can have.

Right here’s the factor:

You may also use SERP options to your benefit

It’s usually simpler to win a SERP function than it’s to climb the usual natural rankings. So you should utilize SERP options to leapfrog high-authority opponents.

Let’s have a look at a fast instance:

The SERP for the key phrase “electronic mail service supplier.”

The common natural rankings for this key phrase embrace enormous websites like Lively Marketing campaign and TechRadar.

Large competitors in ESP search results

These websites have actually excessive Authority Scores, which makes them exhausting to beat within the common rankings.

Authority Scores for Active Campaign and TechRadar

However above these massive opponents, Google is displaying a Featured Snippet.

And that Featured Snippet belongs to a a lot smaller web site referred to as Clear E-mail.

Email service provider Featured Snippet

Due to that Featured Snippet, Clear E-mail is getting a big share of visitors from this key phrase. Although it has a a lot decrease Authority Rating than its bigger opponents.

That’s a constructive instance of the facility of SERP options.

And we’re nonetheless solely scratching the service—there are over 20 several types of SERP options. 

Let’s cowl a few of the most typical and essential ones.

This fashion, you’ll be able to keep away from competing towards them and use them to your benefit as an alternative. 

The Most Frequent and Necessary SERP Options

A Featured Snippet is a big spotlight that Google has taken from a single webpage in try to summarize crucial info from it.

You’ll usually see Featured Snippets on the very high of the natural SERP. (In “place #0.”) 

That makes them one of the crucial highly effective SERP options.

They will additionally show if you broaden a “Folks Additionally Ask” field.

There are a number of forms of Featured Snippets.

Many are text-heavy, like this list-based Featured Snippet for “greatest premium search engine optimization software program:”

Featured Snippet for best premium SEO software

Different Featured Snippets embrace photographs. 

Right here’s the one for the search question “impressionism:”

Impressionism featured snippet

And a few Featured Snippets recommend a clip from an embedded video. 

Like this one for the key phrase “find out how to dash:”

Video Featured Snippet how to sprint

Folks Additionally Ask

Folks Additionally Ask bins listing a number of questions which might be associated to the unique search question.

They’re normally proven for key phrases with industrial or informational search intent.

Right here’s the Folks Additionally Ask field that will get displayed if you seek for “scheduling software program:”

People also ask box for best scheduling software

While you click on on a query in a Folks Additionally Ask field, it expands with a Featured Snippet inside. 

In addition to a hyperlink to launch a brand new Google search utilizing that query.

Like this:

People also ask box expanded

Associated Searches are key phrases which might be linked to your unique search question. 

While you click on on one, Google opens a brand new SERP utilizing that key phrase.

Associated Searches are displayed on the backside of the SERP. And so they’re extraordinarily widespread.

(In reality, most individuals don’t even consider them as a SERP function.)

Essentially the most primary model of the Associated Searches function is solely an inventory of key phrases.

However some Associated Searches additionally embrace photographs above that. As you’ll be able to see on this instance, from the key phrase “greatest premium search engine optimization instrument:”

Related Searches SERP feature

Information Panel

In accordance with Google, Information Panels appear if you seek for entities which might be in Google’s Knowledge Graph

So a single Information Panel consists of info from a number of totally different sources.

Information Panels are displayed on the right-hand facet of the search outcomes. 

They usually show:

  • Related photographs
  • A textual content description
  • A listing of information 
  • Hyperlinks to extra info

Right here’s the Information Panel for the search question “Android:”

Knowledge Panel about Android

Native Pack

Native Packs show details about close by companies and organizations subsequent to an embedded map from Google Maps.

Native Packs are displayed for search queries that may relate to an area want. So naturally, they present totally different outcomes relying on the place the searcher is situated.

This Native Pack is proven on the high of the SERP when somebody in New York Metropolis searches for “bowling alley:”

Bowling alley Local Pack SERP feature

Native Packs also can show for search queries that don’t have such apparent native search intent. 

However they’ll normally be farther down on the SERP in that case.

For instance, the underside of the SERP for “glass storage containers” shows the next Native Pack.

Local Pack with in-store availability

Google Flights

For search queries about flights, Google usually shows a Google Flights SERP function.

The Google Flights SERP function may be interactive, like this one for the key phrase “NYC to PDX:”

Interactive Google Flights SERP feature

Or it may be extra primary, like this one for the key phrase “flights to Oregon:”

Basic Google Flights SERP feature

Natural Google Procuring Outcomes

Natural Google Procuring outcomes look lots like Google Procuring Adverts. 

(Which we already noticed within the “Paid Search Outcomes” part above.) 

However natural Google Procuring outcomes are unpaid. In order that they don’t have the “Advert” disclaimer.

Natural Google Procuring outcomes are normally displayed as a carousel of merchandise you’ll be able to scroll by. And they are often proven anyplace in the principle SERP.

Every natural Google Procuring outcome can comprise:

  • A picture of the product
  • The product title and model
  • The retailer
  • The value
  • The common star score
  • And a reality or two in regards to the product

Right here’s the natural Google Procuring outcomes carousel for the key phrase “dwelling printers:”

Organic Google Shopping results SERP feature

Picture Pack

Picture Packs are a approach for Google to show photographs on the SERP. Clicking on one will take you to a Google Photographs search outcomes web page.

Picture Packs may be proven anyplace within the common search outcomes. Generally they’re displayed as scrollable carousels.

They are often proven as a single row or in a bigger pack.

Right here’s the Picture Pack for the key phrase “Iceland:”

Google Image Pack example for Iceland

And under is a bigger Picture Pack that shows for the key phrase “Nike footwear.” 

On this case, a few of the photographs have a buying tag icon. This means that the picture was taken from a retailer’s product web page.

Image Pack for Nike shoes

Video Outcomes

Video Outcomes are simply what they sound like: a pack of movies on the SERP. 

The movies normally come from YouTube.

Every video itemizing may be paired with hyperlinks to particular timestamps inside it, as you’ll be able to see on this instance:

Video Results SERP feature


You guessed it:

The “Recipes” SERP function may be displayed if you seek for recipes.

It shows a pack of three recipe choices, together with a button to point out extra.

Right here’s the one for “fried rice recipe:”

Fried rice recipes SERP feature

Direct Solutions

Direct Solutions current a brief piece of knowledge on the high of the SERP. 

They are often displayed when Google believes the question is an easy query. 

For instance, “when is Mom’s Day:”

Direct Answers box for when is Mother's Day

High Tales

High Tales shows related articles from Google Information.

For queries which might be clearly in regards to the information, the High Tales function is normally proven on the high of the SERP.

Whereas for different queries, it might be proven decrease down.

Right here’s right this moment’s High Tales pack for the question “monetary information:”

Top Stories SERP feature


In 2015, Google partnered with Twitter to start indexing tweets in real-time. 

Now if you seek for the title of a enterprise or one that is energetic on Twitter, there’s an excellent likelihood you’ll see their tweets.

That makes this a pleasant, simple method to get extra actual property on the SERP.

You’ll be able to see the Twitter SERP function in motion if you seek for “Semrush.”

(After the common natural search outcomes from our area.)

Right here’s what it seems to be like:

Twitter SERP feature for Semrush

Wrapping Up

As you’ll be able to see, there’s no such factor as a normal SERP. 

Search engine outcomes pages can change drastically from key phrase to key phrase and from location to location. 

(Plus they are often customized, too.)

However now that you just perceive how they work, you’ll be able to take the following step in your search engine optimization journey.

Should you’re a newbie, get began with our introduction to studying search engine optimization. 

Or bounce into the deep finish with our detailed guides to on-page search engine optimization, off-page search engine optimization, and technical search engine optimization.