September 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 sometimes embrace seven to 10 hyperlinks to completely different webpages which are related to the consumer’s question, together with extra data or photos.

Many SERPs comprise paid advertisements 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 lots completely different from the SERP for one more.

And people variations have a big impact on website positioning 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 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 a lot of other ways. 

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

Which appears to be like 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 focus on the place they arrive from and the way they have an effect on website positioning.

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 website positioning has been rising and rising.

Search interest in SEO over time

Most of website positioning boils down to at least one idea:

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

The #1 rating result’s proven on the prime 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?


Listed below are the typical click-through charges on Google by rating place, in keeping with 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. 

The truth is, 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 lots of of various rating components to determine.

However you may divide them into two main classes:

  • On-page website positioning components. (Just like the web page’s content material and meta tags.)

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

The look of the search outcomes.

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

A fundamental search snippet consists of three issues:

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

Domain and breadcrumbs in a search snippet

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

Title link in a search result

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

Description in a search result

That’s the essential construction.

However some search snippets are extra complicated than that.

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

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

OutdoorGearLab rich snippet

In contrast to our fundamental search snippet, this one has:

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

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

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

In different phrases:

Wealthy snippets are one of many methods you will get extra visits from a SERP—even with out bettering 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 by way of Google Ads. And so they’re paid for on a cost-per-click foundation.

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

Like this:

Search ads for wireless earbuds

Search advertisements 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 cause, Google Procuring Adverts normally solely present up once you seek for a bodily product.

Google Procuring Adverts look fairly a bit completely different from common search advertisements. 

They comprise much less textual content, for one factor.

And so they additionally embrace photos.

Google Procuring Adverts may 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 consequence that you simply’ll see within the SERPs.

A SERP characteristic is something that isn’t an everyday natural or paid search consequence.

Like this “Featured Snippet” concerning 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 offer individuals “the correct 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.

(The truth is, solely about one-third of all Google searches now end in a click on on an natural consequence. And SERP options are one massive cause 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 “reasonably priced mortgages.”

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

Search volume comparison of two mortgage keywords

And each key phrases need to do with mortgages, clearly.

However their SERPs are utterly completely different.

The SERP for “mortgage comparability” is fairly conventional. 

It reveals 4 search advertisements 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 advertisements 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 you must scroll earlier than you may see the primary natural consequence 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 by way of to the common natural outcomes.

And in keeping with our Key phrase Supervisor software, 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, which means 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 website positioning.

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

And likewise take 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 use 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 appears to be like within the Key phrase Magic Instrument:

SERP features in Keyword Magic Tool

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

Right here’s the factor:

You may as well use SERP options to your benefit

It’s usually simpler to win a SERP characteristic than it’s to climb the usual natural rankings. So you should use 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 enormous websites like Lively Marketing campaign and TechRadar.

Large competitors in ESP search results

These websites have actually excessive Authority Scores, which makes them arduous 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. Regardless that it has a a lot decrease Authority Rating than its bigger opponents.

That’s a constructive instance of the ability 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 commonest and essential ones.

This manner, you may keep away from competing towards them and use them to your benefit as an alternative. 

The Most Frequent and Vital SERP Options

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

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

That makes them one of the highly effective SERP options.

They’ll additionally show once you develop 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 “finest premium website positioning 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 counsel 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 containers listing a number of questions which are associated to the unique search question.

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

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

People also ask box for best scheduling software

If 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 are linked to your unique search question. 

If 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.

(The truth is, most individuals don’t even consider them as a SERP characteristic.)

Probably the most fundamental model of the Associated Searches characteristic is solely an inventory of key phrases.

However some Associated Searches additionally embrace photos above that. As you may see on this instance, from the key phrase “finest premium website positioning software:”

Related Searches SERP feature

Information Panel

In response to Google, Information Panels appear once you seek for entities which are in Google’s Knowledge Graph

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

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

They usually show:

  • Related photos
  • A textual content description
  • A listing of info 
  • Hyperlinks to extra 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 that may relate to a neighborhood want. So naturally, they present completely different outcomes relying on the place the searcher is situated.

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 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 characteristic.

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

Interactive Google Flights SERP feature

Or it may be extra fundamental, 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. So that they don’t have the “Advert” disclaimer.

Natural Google Procuring outcomes are normally displayed as a carousel of merchandise you may scroll by way of. And they are often proven anyplace in the principle SERP.

Every natural Google Procuring consequence 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 concerning the product

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

Organic Google Shopping results SERP feature

Picture Pack

Picture Packs are a approach for Google to show photos on the SERP. Clicking on one will take you to a Google Photos 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 number of the photos have a purchasing 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 may see on this instance:

Video Results SERP feature


You guessed it:

The “Recipes” SERP characteristic may be displayed once 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 are clearly concerning the information, the Prime Tales characteristic is normally proven on the prime of the SERP.

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

Right here’s as we speak’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 once you seek for the title of a enterprise or one who is lively on Twitter, there’s a great likelihood you’ll see their tweets.

That makes this a pleasant, straightforward strategy to get extra actual property on the SERP.

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

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

Right here’s what it appears to be like like:

Twitter SERP feature for Semrush

Wrapping Up

As you may 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 may take the following step in your website positioning journey.

In case you’re a newbie, get began with our introduction to studying website positioning. 

Or bounce into the deep finish with our detailed guides to on-page website positioning, off-page website positioning, and technical website positioning.