SERP (Search Engine Result Page)



Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are the pages that search engines display in response to a user’s query. The results are divided into two categories: organic search (retrieved by the search engine’s algorithm) and sponsored search (advertisements).

Each SERP result typically includes a title, a link to the actual page on the Internet, small image preview and a brief description (META description).

Search Engine Optimisers/SEO Consultants will apply tweaks to improve the technical structure of websites in order for them to rank higher in SERP pages for various keywords users may use to find things.

Components behind a SERP page (SERP features)

Organic search results

The organic section of search results is made up of algorithmically sourced pages from various websites relevant to the terms been searched for.

These are typically filtered to the users country, for example if a user searched for doctor near me then they would find doctor websites within their area while other searches may yield results from websites in other countries.

Paid/sponsored ad slots

Next on the list is paid ad slots also referred to as the sponsored search results. These are paid for by advertisers and often appear right at the top of the page or sometimes across the side of search results.

These links are typically present for commercial queries and most search engines display a small icon next to them to indicate they are ads instead of organic listings.

Video carousels

With the rise of online video and popular platforms like YouTube video carousels are a common feature in many search engines like Google and Bing.

This is typically a side-scrolling bar that appears either at the top, bottom or middle of a SERP page and contains multiple videos that can be played.

Also at times a summary of the video can be extracted with links to jump to specific timestamps or parts of the video according to the query been searched for.

Local Maps / Map Pack


Another big part of search engines like Google is whats known as the “map pack” or “local pack” which is essentially data from Google Maps for different businesses and is shown for any keyword search where Google believes the intention is to find local businesses.

Bing also has a similar feature to showcase local businesses for searchers, for example in the above screenshot if you were to search for a plumber in new york you will see this block appear above search results with maps and contact information followed by the traditional organic search results appearing underneath.

While the organic search results usually appear under the map pack for local searches there are many instances where an organic listing or multiple organic search results may appear above the map pack if Google deems those pages more relevant for the query.

Local search marketing experts can help your business rank in traditional search engines as well as Google Maps and local platforms to help gain more visibility for your business.

Image carousels

Image carousels are very similar to video carousels in that they are generally a side-scrolling block of images at the top of the page with relevant images from a variety of places.

Often these images are fetched from social platforms like Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook but also come from other websites directly and even video previews.

Knowledge panels


The “knowledge panel” is a feature incorporated in many search engines in recent years and is a small snippet based on entities and information a search engine has acquired and validated from multiple informational sources.

These are typically shown for large brands or notable entities, an example of this is shown above for Thomas Jefferson in the Google SERP results.

Related searches

This is typically a block at the bottom of the page and contains similar keywords to what was searched and often includes related questions around the query.

Featured snippets

Featured snippets are small snippets of text aggregated from other websites and displayed directly into the search result.

These are often shown for searches that are question oriented, for example if one searched for “what is the highest mountain in the world” the SERP page would return a snippet presenting the answer to you instead of showing purely organic results.

Importance of SERP pages in SEO

If your wanting to rank higher in the search engines and capture more traffic to your business then showing up prominently in the SERP’s is very important.

It is well known that within search engine results pages, organic listings are commonly clicked on the first page, and second-page listings are rarely visited.

For example if you wanted to rank for SEO Canberra then been at the top of the page would result in significantly more click activity compared to a result further down the page which may have other SERP features above it pushing it out of view.


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Other content from our tech glossary you may like:

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Content Marketing

Google Panda

Google Penguin

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Website Sitemap

World Wide Web (WWW)

Cloud Computing


“Search engine results page” Wikipedia, 29 Mar. 2006, Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

Hardwick, Joshua. “What are SERPs? Search Engine Results Pages Explained” SEO Blog by Ahrefs, 8 Apr. 2020, Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

“Google Knowledge Graph” Wikipedia, 17 May 2012, Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

Google, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons