Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is a web page that a search engine generates automatically based on keywords entered by a user, and which consists of a set of links pointing to the considered resources, among all those it indexes, as relevant for this query regarding its intrinsic classification system.
When you input a Keyword into a search engine, you obtain a result. The result obtained from the search engines is a set of result pages, a SERP. The keyword is the INPUT, while the SERP is the output.
I. SERP – Components and Features
1 – Keywords
Keywords represent a word or a set of words written by the user in the search engine’s search bar. Amongst the most used search engines we can find:
- Google, Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo in the United States
- Yandex in Russia and nearby territories
- Baidu in China
- Naver in Korea
The results are usually presented in the form of a list, ranked in descending order of relevance.
The algorithms used in the results by relevance have continuously evolved within the past years to better filter the results and offer more relevant ones, to attract more advertisers and users. This is how Search queries are no longer effective by simply finding words that match the query – these days for a result to be considered “appropriate”, a broader meaning is drawn from context, opening this way a lot of result possibilities.
2 – SERP Results
SERP results are listings of sites that show up as query results based on the search engine algorithm. SERP results can be Paid (advertisements) and Organic. A website can be ranked higher within the organic search results, through various SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques like optimizing web content and inserting relevant keywords. SERP results can be:
“Direct Answers” – including types (list, paragraph, etc)
“Images” – including carousels
“Knowledge Graph” – inline and block results
“Location” – shown at the bottom of the SERPs
“News (Top Stories)” – including carousels
“People Also Ask” – top four results by default
“Places (local pack)” – what is visible to the user
“Shopping” – carousels and blocks
“Social Media (Tweets)” – including carousels
“Video” – including carousels
Here is an example of an organic result:
The displayed result is organic. The right-side box is known as a Knowledge Graph or Knowledge Box (see point 3 of this category), which we will explain further.
3 – SERP features
Besides the organic results, the SERP is also composed of:
a. Rich Snippets
Rich Snippets (or “Rich Results”) are search results that display additional data, taken from a HTML page Structured Data. Usually Rich Snippets include reviews, events or recipes. Due to the fact that they are more eye-catching, can lead to a higher Click-Through Rate (CTR). Here’s is a relevant example:
b. Paid Results – Sponsored results or Advertisements
Sponsored results are the results displayed with more priority than the organic results, displayed on top or bottom of the results page and can be obtained by bidding on keywords on services like Google AdWords. Every sponsored ad has a colored “Ad” label next to it and they push the organic results down a few positions, having a significant CTR (Click Through Rate) impact (especially on mobile).
c. Universal Results that appear in addition to organic results like images, new results, featured snippets
d. Knowledge Graph, the one mentioned before, that appears as panels or boxes(weather, Celebrity Knowledge Panel).
The graph is always displayed on the top-right part of the screen, next to the search results. Knowledge panels became extremely popular as they display relevant information gathered from trusted sources like Wikipedia, CIA world factbook or Wikidata and currently contains over 80 billion facts.
This feature was added by Google in 2012. It basically pulls out the data associated with a frequently asked question from various websites and provides concise answers to questions in a single SERP location. SERPs have the tendency of featuring significantly some organic results more than others, as in the above example, due to the differing query of numerous searches.
4 – Featured snippets
They show up when the search engine tries to answer a question or to offer information which isn’t in the Knowledge Graph core and it practically takes it from the index page. The organic result displays the extracted information above the search results. Feature snippets’ CTR rate is much higher compared to the regular organic results.
How does a featured snippet look?
How are the SERP special features generated?
They can be generated in two distinct ways: either by featuring a result that can be found on the SERP’s first page or by extracting specific content from the page that is matching best the search query.
Featured Snippets are likely to have a high generation opportunity especially for pages already ranked between 1 and 5 for the given search query.
Here is a comprehensive list of the Georanker supported features:
Paa (People also ask)
II. SERP Generation by search engine
All main search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.) use the metadata tags of pages to create the search snippets. In most cases the HTML title tag is used as the snippet title while the most useful content and most relevant will become the snippet’s description. This can vary a lot depending on the Search Engine’s used algorithm.
Here’s a comprehensive list of the Georanker supported search engines:
III. SERP scraping – Full SERP features data
Search Engine Scraping (or web crawling) is the process of collecting result pages data that can be afterwards analyzed by SEO companies to evaluate the organic competitiveness as well as the sponsored ranking effectiveness. Such data is used for tracking website positioning as well as their evolution in relation to various keywords. The reports generated by such evaluation show if more SEO investment is needed in order to rank higher.
The result pages have a high level of security being protected from SERP automated access by various defensive systems and the search engine’s terms of service (where it is mentioned that sending automated queries is a violation of ToS). There are examples when major companies like Google warned their users against these practices through other communication channels, like Twitter.
Scraping is known to give businesses substantial commercial benefits, but at the same time, it might raise certain legal worries.
IV. GeoRanker API
Our API is based on the standard RESTful APIs also known as RESTful web services and based on REST technology (representational state transfer), a selected architectural style and web services development communication.
REST is being used by browsers and we can compare it easily with an internet language. Due to the increased popularity and usage of clouds, APIs are emerging with REST being the logical choice. RESTful APIs are widely used by all major search engines as well as all major IT companies, like Google, Bing, etc.
RESTful APIs applied to search engines, allow you to create applications that will obtain and display search results (various searches, images) from Google in a programmatic manner. With an API, you can use RESTful requests to obtain relevant data in JSON format.
To find out complete details about our full SERP data services, please get in touch with GeoRanker today.