09 Aug 5 Search Engine Results Page Features You Might Not Be Aware Of
Today we’re going to talk about one of the pages that you might often come across when doing a Google search, but hasn’t paid much attention to, unless you’re into internet marketing. I’m talking about SERP or the Search Engine Result Page. When you type something into Google or any search engine, the search results will appear. Usually, it’s triggered by the keywords that you might have included in your query.
Remember, while the search result may look identical, no two SERPs are created equal. Search engines have been customizing the user experience. That said, you’ll rarely see the same results everytime you make a query.
If you’ve been keenly observing search engines, you’ll notice there are also changes in its features-the images, videos, maps, and other elements of SERP.
Why would you care about SERP anyway?
We can say that SERP has been the most dominant search engine in cyberspace. When searching on the web, you always consider the search engine to be the most reliable source for answers. In fact, studies have revealed that internet searches have continuously been increasing over the years. Google has gained traction and remained at the top, dominating other search engines.
Even if you’re a savvy SEO specialist, focusing your efforts in various directions, Google remains to be king when it comes to SERP dominance.
Which delivers better results? Paid or Organic?
When it comes to traditional SEO, you’re left with two things: Paid or organic search.
Organic refers to the type of content that ranks because of Google’s algorithm and the optimization techniques of the page.
Paid, on the other hand, refers to the results that advertisers pay so they appear in a SERP.
These techniques deliver promising results when combined.
With Organic SERP results, the result appears when Google deems your page to be relevant to the user’s search terms. The results that appear on the top spot are considered as the most suitable result for the user’s query. Organic means natural. No bells and whistles.
The results were purely obtained from organic SEO or the method of getting high placement or ranking on a search engine with the use of unpaid results. Organic SEO relies on backlinks, keywords and quality content.
Of course, you need to set realistic expectations when using Organic SEO. Patience is key because you won’t get instant results. It takes time and dedication to achieve excellent results from organic SEO. When it’s done right, the effort will be worth it.
The long-term benefits of organic SEO include:
- retaining top spots longer
- savings on paid listings
- more clicks
- trust and credibility
Now there are two sides of the coin. The paid SERP results are on the flip side. Advertisers pay for these results appear in the SERP. You can see them at the topmost portion of the SERP. Since paid SERP results are also powered by keywords, they have similarities with organic listings. However, the result being populated matches closely to the keyword that the user entered. You’ll also see different ads suitable for various niches.
Advertisers have also realized the importance of Adwords extensions. Local businesses have the option to include their location extension, app extensions or site link extensions, depending on your offering.
Paid ads only work on a PPC basis. An advertiser needs to pay once users click on the ad. You’ll also enjoy a fair share of long-term benefits from paid results. Although they don’t have the same staying power as organic SEO, they can still be beneficial in ensuring that you get to the top of search engine results.
5 Search Engine Results Page Features
1. Featured Snippets
Do you see the information displayed in a box when you do online research via Google? Those are featured snippets. Google obtains them from a third-party website. It shows an excerpt related to your query and the link to the website where the information was taken from.
Featured snippets have the highest CTR. They are beneficial to those who are looking into increasing website traffic, building brand reputation and increasing brand awareness. If your website is within the top 5 positions, you can rank as a featured snippet.
Although these snippets may appear as direct answers to the query, they can also be in a different format.
Did you know that Adwords is the first SERP feature of Google? They show up in the first four position of a search engine results page. You pay advertisers to run these ads. The cost depends on the keyword search volume. The only time you make a payment is when users click your ads. Adwords are great traffic boosters. However, you should only use it sparingly. Don’t focus all your resources and efforts on this SERP feature.
3. Knowledge Panels
This SERP feature appears on the right-hand side of a Search Engine Results Page. Try searching for a celebrity or business and you’ll get this feature. It shows a short description and other relevant information. If you want your business displayed in a Knowledge Panel, you may want to know the sources where Google takes the information from.
- CIA World Factbook
You can display your business in a Knowledge Panel by submitting your business to Wikipedia. Make sure it comes with a link to Wikidata. You’ll also need verified social media pages and use Organizational Schema Markup.
4. Search Box
You might confuse this with the original search box, but these are two different things. A search box appears together with site links. With this feature, you can search for content on your website directly from the Search Engine Results Pages. You can only enable this feature if you have an installed search engine on your website. To create a search engine on your website, you have to use the custom search engine. It shows you the steps on how to go about building your own search engine. Once done, notify search engines by using search action schema markup.
5. Top Stories/News Boxes
These SERP features show you the trending topics. If you’re displaying relevant information, your site can rank as Top Stories. Of course, you still have to make sure that you are using the correct type of markup. The News Box/Top Stories cater to these types of news:
- Fact Check
- Free Registration
- Paid subscription
- User-generated content
- Opinion pieces
- Opinion pieces
- Press releases
To rank as a News Box, make sure you produce original, readable and accurate content. It should also include links, proper HTML formatting, permanent article URLs and meta tags.
Now that Google’s Search Engine Results Page has made some improvements to provide users with a better search experience, it’s all up to you how you’re going to make your website relevant and appealing to users. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. Our team will provide methods tailored to the needs of your website. Get in touch with us to know more.