What are SERPs? How Search Engine Results Pages Work

Websites that appear on the first page of Google search results receive more than ninety percent of all clicks from users. A search engine’s results page (SERP) is the page a user sees after submitting a search query. SERPS usually includes both organic and paid search results.

Don’t stress at all if your website hasn’t made it far to the top. A complete understanding of how SERPs work will improve the chances of your website ranking higher. If you want to improve your position in SERPs (search engine results pages), stay tuned, as we explain in this article how they work and how results are chosen for the top ranks.

The Importance of Search Engine Results Pages for SEO

The page appears when you type a query into Google, Bing, or another search engine. Although Google has over 80% of the market share, we will only discuss its features and algorithms in this article because it has the most common SERP structure.

Users are more willing to click on results that appear closer to the top of a SERP; since schema markup’s development, search engine results pages (SERPs) have grown to be better every day in trying to predict users’ requirements. How To rank?

How Do You Rank Higher in Search Engine Results Pages?

Despite variations in appearance, all SERPs have these three elements :

  • Organic Results
  • Paid Ads
  • SERP Features

Organic results

Search engine optimization (SEO) is constantly changing and adapting to improve a website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). You need a high-quality site, just like you do with sponsored ads. However, the rules are less clear. Google’s algorithm is continuously being modified to produce the best possible results, so it’s crucial to keep up with any recent or future changes.

Paid Ads

Paid ads typically appear before organic results and occasionally after them. Advertisers bid on specific keywords and then pay Google for every click on their ad. Although Google does consider other elements, such as ad relevancy and clickthrough rate (CTR), the highest bidders typically can find their ads at the top.

SERP features

All results on a Google SERP that are not classified as organic results are considered SERP features. One of the most common SERP features is featured snippets, image packs, and top stories.

What are SERP Features, and How Do You Use Them?

There are many SERP features, but we will discuss the most popular ones, how to collect their information, and how to utilize them to generate more traffic for your blog.

Shopping Results

 (PLAs) Product Listing Ads are advertisements that appear next to related items/products and are paid for by sellers. The product name, price, and store are all displayed; in some cases, customer reviews and promotional discounts are also included.

Searches that are more transactional or research-oriented are more likely to return Shopping results. For instance, “protein powder for sale” or “top-rated protein powders.”

However, the only way to appear in Shopping Results is by paying for it, which is quite expensive in most cases.

Featured Snippets

Google’s featured snippets provide an instant answer to a user’s query by highlighting the content it considers to be the web’s most helpful and credible. This content will be clearly shown in search engine rankings (but below the paid ads).

This content will be clearly shown in search engine rankings (but below the paid ads).

Position zero, or rank zero, is the name given to featured snippets since they appear before the top 10 organic results.

But it’s important to know that the website hosting the featured snippet will be listed in the top 10 organic results.

Google’s featured snippets attempt to provide an immediate and relevant answer to a user’s query by highlighting the content it considers to be the web’s most accurate answer. This information will be clearly shown in search engine results (but below the paid ads).

This information will be clearly shown in search engine results (but below the paid ads).

“Position zero” or “rank zero” is a common term for featured snippets due to their visibility above the top 10 organic results.

“Position zero” or “rank zero” is a common term for featured snippets due to their visibility above the top 10 organic results.

To be clear, the featured snippet information is pulled from a website that ranks highest in the top 10 organic results, so it’s essential to know where to look for it.

Tweets Boxes

Google will display relevant Tweets from the past several hours or days. Like other SERP features, Twitter carousels can appear anywhere, though they frequently appear closer to the top.

Top Stories

Live blogs, new articles, and videos are all showcased in top stories carousels. Each result on Google includes a preview image, title, publisher, and time stamp and is typically displayed close to the top of the search engine results page (SERP).

However, News Dashboard found that 99.31% of desktop results originate from Google News-indexed sources.

It’s important to remember that most positions here are temporary, as the SERP function is designed to provide recent results, and pages can’t remain fresh forever.


The video carousel pops up so that Google can show clips related to the user’s search. The video page’s title, URL, description, and thumbnail are all displayed in separate cards in this carousel.

To replace the video box SERP feature, Google debuted the video carousel in June 2018. Additional relevant videos can be viewed by using the right-pointing arrow on the carousel.

However, as you can see in the illustrative case above, these outcomes are not limited to YouTube videos. If your web pages feature embedded videos, such videos may generate a preview.

Again, embedded videos do not always have to originate from the YouTube platform.

Nevertheless, Google frequently links to relevant YouTube videos when it displays search results. The suggested video’s title, YouTube URL, and duration are all included in the feature. Your answer’s position in the video’s progress bar will be highlighted on the preview image:

People Also Ask (PAA)

The similar questions box, also known as the people also ask feature, is a pull-down list of questions that Google believes are relevant to the user’s search. If you click on a question, you’ll get an expanded version of the feature that displays information that answers that question, much like a featured snippet.

Further questions are displayed when an answer is expanded by clicking on it.

This section of the search results may appear at the top, the bottom, or anywhere in between. It seems to depend on the other search engine results page elements.

In question-and-answer snippets, Google will show the question, the answer (with the specific information in bold), and the page title and URL from where Google obtained the information.

Google’s algorithm determines which pages and material should appear in the suggested questions. Google does all the heavy lifting in creating the questions and selecting the content to put there.

It’s also worth mentioning that a featured snippet will appear in the search results for relevant questions. On the other hand, the featured snippet’s content and page may differ from what’s displayed in the related questions feature.

Knowledge Panel

When users conduct a Google search for an entity (a person, a location, an item, or a brand), Knowledge Graph panels appear. What Google knows and thinks is important about an entity is displayed in these panels.

If a user types a question into Google’s search bar, Google will leverage the data stored in its Knowledge Graph to provide relevant answers.

Having your site’s URLs appear in Knowledge Graph results is challenging. Some people can’t since they don’t have any websites to link to or URLs.

Instead, you should ensure that all the references and directories that include information about your company, brand, blog, or even yourself are accurate and up-to-date. This includes your website, Google My Business directory, social media platforms, and other citations.

Having complete and accurate information in Google My Business is crucial because it is used to create the Knowledge Graph panel for local businesses.


Sitelinks are clickable links that direct users to different sections or pages within the same ranked website.

More of a modification to standard organic results than a primary component of a search engine results page, these links display as a separate section under a given development. Site links’ main advantage is that they speed up finding relevant content.

You will see an increase in natural or unpaid visitors to your site due to higher clickthrough rates on the search engine results page.

People searching for your website may already see sitelinks because Google frequently displays them for branded queries.

In my experience, pages that are both popular and have internal links to other relevant information are more likely to “win” sitelinks for generic search terms.

Image Packs

Google will display the image pack if it thinks the user is looking for a specific image.

If Google determines that an image is more relevant to the user’s query, it will display the image pack.

Google Images’ top results will also appear in the picture pack if you type a search for the same keyword.

If you click on an image in the image pack, you’ll be sent to the Image search results for the term, where that image will be displayed in a larger size. If you want to view the image in its original location, click on it there.

While optimizing your site for specific keywords will not guarantee that the picture pack will appear, it will increase the likelihood that your photographs will rank highly in Google Image results, boosting the chances that they will be featured in the image pack.


Figuring out when and how Google’s search engine results page (SERP) elements appear can be of great use to SEO and keyword research analysis. You can drastically improve your chances of finding your website in search results by optimizing it for certain features of search engine results pages (SERPs), such as featured snippets, photo packs, and top stories.

On the other hand, the efforts you put into keyword research and prioritizing should be influenced by your knowledge of which queries activate features you cannot target, such as Knowledge graphs.


Where do you rank in search engine results?

When someone searches for your firm by name, for instance, and your site has been properly optimized, it should appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). The first position is determined by the highest-ranking organic result regardless of the presence or absence of paid advertisements.

How many ads are allowed on a SERP page?

The standard number of ads shown in organic search results is 14.

What is the difference between SEO and SERP?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Results Page (SERP) are abbreviations. Despite their differences, they are intimately connected.

What does “local pack” mean in terms of SERP?

The Local Pack is a feature of search engine results pages (SERPs) that displays on the first page of results for any search query with local intent. In addition to providing listings for three businesses that apply to a question, it includes a map that pinpoints the locations of several companies.

How do I find out where I am ranked in the SERPs?

You can use SE Ranking’s SERP tool at no cost. With this tool’s help, you can examine the top Google search results for several different queries from any area. You can use it to do a search engine results page (SERP) analysis and monitor your website’s authority for relevant keywords.

How do businesses benefit from SERP features?

SERPs can be quite beneficial for businesses as they increase engagement and offer a better user experience. As a result, SERP features draw more people to a brand.


Avatar of Rohit Mehta

I am an Indian blogger, journalist, author and entrepreneur. I am working in digital marketing and IT sector for more than 10 years.

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