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Beginner’s Guide: What’s New about Google SERPs?

May 6, 2019
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Paid Search

Beginner’s Guide: What’s New about Google SERPs?

Googles search engine results page (SERP) features aims to improve user experience. While it does get the job done, it makes things more challenging for business owners. Those who want to land at the top spot of search results need to understand how the game works.

It is important that you get great results for your business so just be updated with the ever-changing SEO environment.

Understanding SERPs



Let us first define SERPs so we can understand how it works. An SERP is a page that's returned to an online user after typing a search query. It is not exclusive to Google since Yahoo and Bing have SERPs too. These SERPs are customized for each online user, which explains why the results are different when queries are sent from different devices.

Putting the Spotlight on Google SERPs


Search Engine Market Share - Mobile


Source: Smart Insights

These days, when it comes to looking for something online, the go-to search engine is Google. In fact, people say “Google it” instead of saying a phrase like “look it up online”. Google is also dominating the mobile search market with a market share of 93%. While the numbers for the United States are already impressive, Google is still the front runner in countries with even bigger markets like Germany and the United Kingdom with a market share of 90%.

Features of SERPs



A decade ago, search results were simply words on a page. Today, search results come with photos and snippets, which are features of an SERP! The goal of SERPs is to improve an online user's experience by providing search results that are accurate, detailed, and relevant. Google aim to make it easier for the online user to find the answers to their query. This encourages them to use the search engine more.

Rich Answer



One of the top SERP features is the rich answer, which basically consists of direct and quick answers. These are often displayed in a box located at the top of the page. These often answer questions like “what time is it in the United States”.  Providers of rich answers are not given credit because according to Google, the data comes from the public.

Knowledge Graphs


Sometimes, search results come with related search topics, facts, maps, and images. These are knowledge graphs and can be found on the right-hand sidebar or just above the organic results. These results show up when the queries are about specific places, people, and topics. To come up with the answers, Google digs deep and retrieves information from external sources like Wikipedia and internal sources like Google Maps.

Site Links



This feature highlights the other links from the website of an organization. The intention behind this is to make it easier for users to navigate around the website and find the pages they are looking for.

Rich Snippet


Image result for rich snippets examples


Also known as a rich result, the rich snippet is a common Google SERP feature. It contains more data than the URL, Meta description and standard title. Links, prices, and customer ratings are often offered as additional information. Operators of websites can include structured data markup so help optimize their content and boost their rankings. These are of several types and will appear according to Google’s choice and standards.

Knowledge Panel

A knowledge panel is similar to a knowledge graph. The only difference is, the information is retrieved from Google My Business listings and Google Maps. This is why knowledge panels only appear when they query is related to organizations, businesses, and brands. It also contains additional information like related searches, social media links, facts, and images.

Image Packs

When queries are about images, the SERP feature image packs appear. Business-related image searches, however, link the user to Google images and not the business website. This is ideal for those who are looking for a specific kind and size of image. Related images are available as well.

Vertical Search



The vertical search pops up when Google sees that it is necessary to retrieve information from other categories like news, video, and images. This feature often appears when the user's query is about a specific location or topic. For example, when a user is looking for information about a country, the vertical search will show information about places that can be explored or things to do.

Local 3-Pack



It would do businesses a lot of good if they can secure a spot in the local3-pack Google SERP feature. It contains a map and information about the top three local businesses in an area. A high commercial intent comes with queries on local businesses that's why it's good to take advantage of the local 3-pack.

There are two ways to go about SERP marketing. One is through search engine optimization (SEO), and the other is through paid search engine marketing (SEM).

The first step is to identify the target market and know their search behavior.

The second will be the SEO which is also standardized these days with the advance link building. Manual outreach, great content strategies, niche backlinks and use of unique images are given preferences to rank on Google.  These also drives traffic on your website.

It's highly recommended that businesses figure out which of the two works best for them since both require an investment.

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