To understand what SERP features are, first, let’s get into the basics. SERP is an abbreviation for the search engine results page. Just like its name suggests, it’s everything you get as a result after “googling” anything. Now, as we answered the question “What does SERP stand for?,” let’s learn the features.
SERP features are called “rich results” or sometimes “enriched search results” by Google, so don’t get confused if you meet these concepts in their changelogs or articles. They are everything on the page that is related to the search result but isn’t a typical link.
For example, some well-known Google SERP features are the “People Also Ask” tab or advertisement results matching the search. If you ever searched for a famous person, you know that usually, there’s a big panel on the right that shows some information about them. That is also such a feature. Here’s the list of the most common of them:
- Instant Answer (Featured Snippet);
- Top Stories;
- Local Pack;
- Hotel Pack;
- Image Pack;
- Video Pack;
- People Also Ask;
- Shopping Results;
- Knowledge Tab;
- Google Ads.
Knowing how particular features work and how to use them wisely is crucial for SERP SEO specialists. But the market conditions today are really harsh: not all experienced SEO specialists know every tiny detail. For such cases, it’s a good idea to contact experts from Develux to receive professional help.
Remember that trusting some matters to those who have skills, knowledge, and experience can save you a lot of time and effort. The ability to use all SEO instruments wisely, SERP features included, determines the cost-efficiency and overall revenue of the project.
So, to help you out with this matter, here’s a short explanation of each of these “rich results.” You’ve seen most of them already, so many will be described with simple examples.
If you google “2+2,” the first thing under the search bar to appear will be a calculator widget with a result “4.” Or, if searching for “weather London,” the weather forecast from Google’s partner service will appear. Both of these are Instant Answers or so-called “Featured Snippets.”
They always appear underneath the search bar, before other results, in a separate tab. The conditions for them are pretty straightforward – the search query must have an exact answer or user intent.
Reviews work with Google Reviews service (mostly) and appear in the form of stars underneath the results. Of course, it doesn’t work for every query you type in, but you’ll notice them if present. And logically enough, the search engine tries to give you only the best-rated options first.
Every site on the SERP is basically a link, so what does this stand for? They are more specific links to different parts of a website, which present the best answer in the engine’s opinion.
For example, google “Steam,” and you’ll get the main link to the store and two links to the “Welcome to Steam” page and “Log In.” These two last ones are SERP Links features.
Local and Hotel Packs
Searching for “best restaurants Washington” or “hotels Luxembourg” will give you a respective window as an answer.
For restaurants (or any other search for a certain place or location), it will be a Local Pack in the form of a map where all the best options will be highlighted and pointed. A Hotel Pack works the same way, with the difference that only hotels will appear.
Image and Video Pack
They are probably the most easily recognized and known SERP features. Image and Video Packs appear when you look for a certain video or image (or when Google thinks that it’s your intent). Also, please note that for the best productivity, one should learn about video and image search optimization. Yes, they do work in a slightly different way.
Related Questions (People Also Ask)
You probably know how it looks – four questions that are related to your one and show the best answer (Instant Answer snippet) if clicked on. This is one of the first such features to ever appear and has always been among the most widely used ones. Google uses complex analytics and algorithms to calculate which queries can be related to each other.
Typing “buy a PC Tokyo” will immediately provide you with some options from different markets. They are direct links to the respective products. Keep in mind that they are paid ads.
Don’t get it wrong, though; they aren’t “scams” or any unrelated products that simply paid to be there. Google mostly chooses decent options from trustable resources and provides ratings.
They are represented in the form of thumbnails to the most relevant and fresh news. For example, google any recent important global activity, and you’ll get at least three articles about it. Just like Instant Answers, they appear beneath the search bar. Yet, don’t get them confused with the “news” tab. They are closely related, but the latter is a separate concept.
This is the one we mentioned in the beginning as the tab with information about a famous person, location, or entity. It works just like an Instant Answer when the intent is pretty clear. It just appears in a different form, providing basic knowledge on the subject (usually from Wikipedia), along with some links, locations, images, and related results.
This is the first SERP feature to ever appear. No wonder, as it’s the most profitable one. Also known as AdWords, Google Ads appearance is similar to other results, only distinguished by “Google Ad” markings.
Of course, they are a paid service and always appear on top of other results. However, they are a completely different subject to learn about, so you better do separate deep research about Google advertisements and their importance.
To Sum Up
Most users are already familiar with almost every SERP feature. People just don’t realize that they’re called like that. But for those who have their own websites, it’s another important subject they must look into. Such features are very good opportunities to greatly increase traffic and make a site popular. So, don’t underestimate them, and good luck with SEO!