What is a SERP? How is it created?

Christine at Flierhaar

Content marketing intern

What is a SERP?

'SERP' stands for 'Search Engine Results Page' and refers to the page of search results that appears after someone enters a query in a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. For example, if you are looking for a recipe for a chocolate cake, you will see a list of search results. So the page on which all those search results are listed is the SERP. But how do these results come about?

What does the SERP consist of?

Typically, the search engine results page contains a list of organic search results, paid ads and additional information. The organic search results that appear at the top of the SERP, i.e. after the ads, are generally the most relevant and authoritative results for the search query entered. Search engines are constantly improving and optimising their algorithm to present the most relevant search results. 

The SERP does contain more than just web pages. Search engines have also enhanced the SERP with additional features and information, such as a 'featured snippet' local search results, images, video links, knowledge graphs and much more. This makes it even easier for users to find the answers they were looking for, zonder having to visit different websites first.

So the SERP is actually the end product of a complex and sophisticated algorithm that search engines use to index and rank web pages based on relevance and authority. This process happens at lightning speed and is done using dozens of different ranking factors. It is important to realise that the SERP is not static and is constantly changing. The search queries people enter change regularly and search engines respond to this by adjusting their algorithms. Also, new types of content, for example podcasts, are emerging all the time and gradually finding their way into the SERP as well.

Organic and advertised search results

Organic search results are those that are not advertised and are generated by the search engine's search algorithm. These results are ranked based on relevance and authority of the website being displayed. A website's position on the SERP is determined by its quality based on keywords, content, backlinks, loading time and many more factors.

Advertised results are paid ads that appear above or alongside organic search results. Advertisers can bid on keywords to have their ads appear on certain searches. Displaying sponsored results on the SERP is a way for search engines to earn money from advertisers and is an important revenue source for search engines.

Developments of the SERP

The SERP of any search engine will naturally continue to evolve. As this is constantly changing, it is difficult to predict exactly what the developments will be. However, there are some trends that are expected to influence the SERP in the coming years, these are onder others: 

  • Voice search: with the growing popularity of smart speakers and digital assistants such as Siri and Alexa, voice search will play an increasingly important role within the SERP. What is notable here is the shift from short keywords to long searches and the use of natural language.
  • Visual search: this allows users to use images to perform searches, which is becoming increasingly popular. This is likely to lead to more visual content on the SERP, such as images and videos.
  • Featured snippets: these short answers displayed at the top of the SERP will become increasingly important. This will start to lead to more focus on optimising content on web pages for featured snippets plus the use of structured data to help search engines better understand what the content contains.
  • Local searches: these are becoming increasingly important, especially for mobile users who are onder away. This is likely to lead to more emphasis on local SEO and Google My Business listings.
  • Personalisation: search engines will pay more attention to individual users' personal preferences, such as search history and location, to provide more personalised search results. This will lead to more emphasis on specifically personalised content and targeting.

Getting started!

The Search Engine Result Page is much more than just a list of web pages. It is the result of a complex algorithm that is constantly optimised to show the most relevant search results. Do you already see your business on the SERP? At Onder, we would love to help you achieve this. We offer various SEO services to contribute to the optimisation of your website. Curious about what we can offer you? Then feel free to contact up with our SEO specialists.

For those looking for professional onder support in migrating their website, our seo migration services the help needed to maintain your SEO value.



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