What Is a SERP? Search Engine Outcomes Pages, Defined

  • January 2, 2023
  • elkenz
  • 14 min read

“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 embody seven to 10 hyperlinks to totally different webpages which are related to the consumer’s question, together with extra info or photographs.

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

Like this:

SERP with paid and organic results

Nevertheless, the SERP for one key phrase can look rather a lot totally different from the SERP for one more.

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 embody three sorts 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 may present up in a lot of other ways. 

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

Which appears like this:

People Also Ask example

Let’s take a better have a look at all three sorts 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 likely to click on on it.

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

So, it often 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 here are the common click-through charges on Google by rating place, in response to a examine by Backlinko:

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

And the drop-off continues from there. 

Actually, the #1 rating often will get 10x extra clicks than the #10 rating.

So how does a web page get ranked #1?

Effectively, Google depends on tons of of various rating elements to determine.

However you may 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 consequence “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 fundamental 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 may see it has just a few extra elements: 

OutdoorGearLab rich snippet

Not like our primary search snippet, this one has:

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

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

And so they make the search consequence stand out, which may enhance 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 enhancing your rankings.

(SERP options are one other manner. 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 Adverts. 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 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 motive, Google Procuring Adverts often solely present up whenever you seek for a bodily product.

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

They comprise much less textual content, for one factor.

And so they additionally embody 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 consequence that you just’ll see within the SERPs.

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

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 in response to Google, the purpose of them is to offer folks “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.

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

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

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

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

Each keywords get 1,600 searches per thirty days:

Search volume comparison of two mortgage keywords

And each keywords should do with mortgages, clearly.

However their SERPs are fully totally different.

The SERP for “mortgage comparability” is fairly conventional. 

It reveals 4 search advertisements 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 advertisements on the high, like the opposite SERP. However then it reveals 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 it’s a must to scroll earlier than you may see the primary natural consequence on this SERP:

Google SERP with SERP features

As talked about, each of these keywords 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 expected probability of getting a click on via to the common natural outcomes.

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

Whereas the press potential for “inexpensive mortgages” is simply 20%.

Click potential in Keyword Manager

In impact, which means these keywords aren’t actually sending 1,600 visits per thirty days to their natural outcomes.

As a substitute:

  • 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 necessary 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 have a look at the SERP itself. That manner, you’ll know which SERP options you’ll be up in opposition to.

Or to keep away from checking every key phrase manually, you need to 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 sorts they’re.

Right here’s how the “SERP options” column appears within the Keyword 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 too can 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 need to use SERP options to leapfrog high-authority opponents.

Let’s have a look at a fast instance:

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

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

Large competitors in ESP search results

These websites have actually excessive Authority Scores, which makes them laborious 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 known as Clear Electronic mail.

Email service provider Featured Snippet

Because of that Featured Snippet, Clear Electronic mail is getting a big share of visitors from this key phrase. Though it has a a lot decrease Authority Rating than its bigger opponents.

That’s a optimistic 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 few of the commonest and necessary ones.

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

The Most Widespread and Essential 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 probably the most highly effective SERP options.

They will additionally show whenever you increase a “Folks Additionally Ask” field.

There are a number of sorts of Featured Snippets.

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

Featured Snippet for best premium SEO software

Different Featured Snippets embody 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 “the best way to dash:”

Video Featured Snippet how to sprint

Folks Additionally Ask

Folks Additionally Ask containers checklist a number of questions which are associated to the unique search question.

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

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

People also ask box for best scheduling software

Whenever 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 keywords which are related to your authentic search question. 

Whenever 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.

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

Probably the most primary model of the Associated Searches function is solely a listing of keywords.

However some Associated Searches additionally embody photographs above that. As you may see on this instance, from the key phrase “finest premium search engine optimization device:”

Related Searches SERP feature

Information Panel

In response to Google, Information Panels seem whenever you seek for entities which are in Google’s Information 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
  • An inventory of info 
  • 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 which may relate to a neighborhood want. So naturally, they present totally different outcomes relying on the place the searcher is positioned.

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 can even 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 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 rather a lot 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 often displayed as a carousel of merchandise you may scroll via. And they are often proven wherever in the principle SERP.

Every natural Google Procuring consequence can comprise:

  • A picture of the product
  • The product title and model
  • The retailer
  • The worth
  • The common star ranking
  • 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 manner 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 wherever 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 often 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 function may be displayed whenever 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

Prime Tales

Prime Tales shows related articles from Google Information.

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

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

Right here’s right now’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 whenever you seek for the title of a enterprise or one that is energetic on Twitter, there’s probability you’ll see their tweets.

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

You may see the Twitter SERP function in motion whenever you seek for “Semrush.”

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

Right here’s what it appears like:

Twitter SERP feature for Semrush

Wrapping Up

As you may see, there’s no such factor as a regular 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 may take the subsequent step in your search engine optimization journey.

If you happen to’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.