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

A SERP is the web page {that a} search engine shows to a person after they conduct a search. Google SERPs usually embrace seven to 10 hyperlinks to completely different webpages which might be related to the person’s question, together with further data or photos.

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

Like this:

SERP with paid and organic results

Nevertheless, the SERP for one key phrase can look so much completely different from the SERP for an additional.

And people variations have a big impact 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 kinds of listings:

Natural search outcomes, which appear like 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 alternative ways. 

One frequent SERP function is the “Individuals Additionally Ask” field. 

Which seems like this:

People Also Ask example

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

We’ll talk about 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 yr. 

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 folks are inclined to click on on it.

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

So, it often will get essentially the most clicks.

Adopted by #2, and so forth:

Search rankings example

How a lot do rankings matter, precisely?


Listed here are the common click-through charges on Google by rating place, based on a research 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 actual fact, the #1 rating often will get 10x extra clicks than the #10 rating.

So how does a web page get ranked #1?

Properly, Google depends on a whole bunch of various rating components to determine.

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

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

The look of the search outcomes.

Particularly, they management the search end result “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 often based mostly on the web page’s meta title tag

Title link in a search result

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

Description in a search result

That’s the essential construction.

However some search snippets are extra advanced than that.

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

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

OutdoorGearLab rich snippet

Not like our primary search snippet, this one has:

  • A picture on the aspect
  • A star ranking within the center
  • And extra hyperlinks (known as “sitelinks”) on the backside

Additional items of data like these are known as “wealthy snippets.”

And so they make the search end result stand out, which might enhance 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 bettering your rankings.

(SERP options are one other means. 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 Advertisements. And so they’re paid for on a cost-per-click foundation.

Google Search Advertisements are sometimes proven on the prime of the SERP above all of the natural outcomes. 

Like this:

Search ads for wireless earbuds

Search adverts will 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 Purchasing Advertisements, which ecommerce shops use to promote their merchandise.

For that cause, Google Purchasing Advertisements often solely present up while you seek for a bodily product.

Google Purchasing Advertisements look fairly a bit completely different from common search adverts. 

They comprise much less textual content, for one factor.

And so they additionally embrace photos.

Google Purchasing Advertisements might be proven on the prime, backside, or in the course of the SERP. 

Or off to the aspect, like this:

Google Shopping Ads on SERP

SERP Options

SERP options are the third sort of end result that you simply’ll see within the SERPs.

A SERP function is something that isn’t an everyday natural or paid search end result.

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 based on Google, the purpose of them is to provide folks “the precise data 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 actual fact, solely about one-third of all Google searches now end in a click on on an natural end result. And SERP options are one huge cause why.)

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

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

For instance, let’s examine the key phrases “mortgage comparability” and “reasonably priced mortgages.”

Each key phrases get 1,600 searches per 30 days:

Search volume comparison of two mortgage keywords

And each key phrases should do with mortgages, clearly.

However their SERPs are utterly completely different.

The SERP for “mortgage comparability” is fairly conventional. 

It reveals 4 search adverts on the prime. 

After which goes straight into the common natural outcomes.

Google SERP without SERP features

The SERP for “reasonably priced mortgages” is a distinct story.

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

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

All earlier than attending to the common natural outcomes.

Look how far it’s important to scroll earlier than you’ll be able to see the primary natural end result on this SERP:

Google SERP with SERP features

As talked about, each of these key phrases get 1,600 searches per 30 days. 

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

Click on Potential is the expected likelihood of getting a click on via to the common natural outcomes.

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

Whereas the press potential for “reasonably priced mortgages” is just 20%.

Click potential in Keyword Manager

In impact, meaning these key phrases aren’t actually sending 1,600 visits per 30 days to their natural outcomes.

As a substitute:

  • The primary key phrase is driving about 1,120 visits per 30 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 30 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 determine whether or not to focus on it.

And in addition take a look at the SERP itself. That means, 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 reveals what number of SERP options are being displayed for every key phrase. In addition to which varieties they’re.

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

SERP features in Keyword Magic Tool

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

Right here’s the factor:

You can too use SERP options to your benefit

It’s typically 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 take a look at a fast instance:

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

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

Large competitors in ESP search results

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

Authority Scores for Active Campaign and TechRadar

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

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

Email service provider Featured Snippet

Because of that Featured Snippet, Clear E mail is getting a big share of visitors from this key phrase. Regardless that 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 number 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 a substitute. 

The Most Frequent and Essential SERP Options

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

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

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

They’ll additionally show while you broaden a “Individuals Additionally Ask” field.

There are a number of kinds 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 photos. 

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 “how you can dash:”

Video Featured Snippet how to sprint

Individuals Additionally Ask

Individuals Additionally Ask packing containers checklist a number of questions which might be associated to the unique search question.

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

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

People also ask box for best scheduling software

Once you click on on a query in a Individuals 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 related to your unique search question. 

Once 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 frequent.

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

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

However some Associated Searches additionally embrace photos 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 keeping with Google, Information Panels seem while you seek for entities which might be in Google’s Information Graph

So a single Information Panel contains data from a number of completely different sources.

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

They typically show:

  • Related photos
  • A textual content description
  • An inventory of info 
  • Hyperlinks to further data

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 which may relate to a neighborhood want. So naturally, they present completely different outcomes relying on the place the searcher is positioned.

This Native Pack is proven on the prime 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 often 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 typically shows a Google Flights SERP function.

The Google Flights SERP function might 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 Purchasing Outcomes

Natural Google Purchasing outcomes look so much like Google Purchasing Advertisements. 

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

However natural Google Purchasing outcomes are unpaid. So that they don’t have the “Advert” disclaimer.

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

Every natural Google Purchasing end result can comprise:

  • A picture of the product
  • The product title and model
  • The retailer
  • The worth
  • The common star ranking
  • And a truth or two in regards to the product

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

Organic Google Shopping results SERP feature

Picture Pack

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

Picture Packs might 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 number of the photos have a procuring 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 often come from YouTube.

Every video itemizing might 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 might be displayed while 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 data on the prime 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

Prime Tales

Prime Tales shows related articles from Google Information.

For queries which might be clearly in regards to the information, the Prime Tales function is often proven on the prime of the SERP.

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

Right here’s right this moment’s Prime 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 while you seek for the title of a enterprise or one that is lively on Twitter, there’s an excellent likelihood you’ll see their tweets.

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

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

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

Right here’s what it seems 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 personalised, too.)

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

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

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

What Is a SERP? Search Engine Outcomes Pages, Defined