SERP stands for search engine result page(s). It is where you find the result of a search query after you entered it on the search bar.
The acronym has become a widespread term when talking about SEO, search engine marketing, and web developing topics. It’s typically used for conciseness or when writing the whole term “search engine result page(s)” becomes too repetitive.
SEO and SEM professionals tend to use it to refer only to the first page of organic search results. However, technically, it encompasses all search results returned for a given query.
Every user’s SERPs are unique. This is true even if you and a friend perform a search for the same query using the same keywords and the same search engine on the same day.
How is this possible? Search engines want to present users with the best set of results available. To do this, they take user-specific data so they can tailor the results presented. This produces slight changes every time a result is rendered. So, even if they seem identical and do contain many of the same results, there are always at least a few subtle differences.
Some of the user-specific information search engines take into consideration include:
– Type of device
– User’s location
– User’s search history
– User behavior on SERPs (pogo-sticking, click-throughs, etc.)
How SERPs look and how they present search results is constantly changing. Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and other search engines are constantly running “experiments” and making both big and small changes to provide users with a better experience.
That’s how SERP features were born.
A SERP feature is any search result on search engine result pages that is not presented like traditional organic results. SERP features include:
– Universal Results: these appear in addition to organic results in the form of images, snippets, videos, etc.
– Rich Snippets: these display additional information on for results listed and can include products ratings, recipes, events, etc.
– Knowledge Graphs: It’s when the information is presented as boxes or panels — for example, the Celebrity Knowledge Panel or Direct Answers from Google.