The SERP, from the English Search Engine Results Page, or search engine results page, is the list of results returned by a search engine in response to a keyword query. The results typically include a list of articles with titles, a reference to the full version, and a brief description where keywords have matched the content within the page. SERP can refer to a single page of links or to the set of all links that have arisen by a search.
Types of SERPs
The SERP of the main search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing can include different types of ads: contextual, algorithmic or organic search lists, as well as sponsored ads, images, maps, definitions, videos, or suggestions plus search data.
Major search engines visually differentiate certain types of content such as images, news, and blogs. Many types of content have specialized in SERP templates and visual enhancements to their main results page.
Parts of the SERPs
There are basically three main components of SERP: The actual search query, organic SERP listings, and paid SERP ads.
- Actual search query
This is the word or set of words that are typed by the user in the search bar of the engine. The search box is found on all search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Users will search for the topic based on the keywords that enter the search box in the search engine.
- Organic listings
They are the natural listings generated by search engines based on a series of indicators that determine their relevance to the searched term. Web pages that score well on a search engine’s algorithm test are displayed. These algorithms are usually based on factors such as the content of a web page, the reliability of the page and external factors such as backlinks, social networks, news, advertising, etc.
Each results page usually contains 10 organic listings (however, some results pages may have fewer organic listings).
- Paid listings
Paid ads are sponsored ads or links, including search engine results. Websites pay search engines to make their web pages appear better positioned. However, this service is different from pay-per-click, which refers to ads on websites.
Importance of positioning in the SERPS
The results that are on the first page are the most important, because they are the ones that receive 91% of the click-through rate (CTR) of a particular search.
According to a 2013 study, the CTR on the first page would be:
- Position 1: 32.5%
- Position 2: 17.6%
- Position 3: 11.4%
- Position 4: 8.1%
- Position 5: 6.1%
- Position 6: 4.4%
- Position 7: 3.5%
- Position 8: 3.1%
- Position 9: 2.6%
- Position 10: 2.4%
As of 2019, estimates continue to maintain that the first result of the search engine obtains more than 30% of visits, hence the importance that search engine positioning still has.