What is SERP?
Competition for good organic rankings - pages that you naturally work to get high in search results - is fierce. Combined with technological advances in search, this means it's more important than ever for digital marketers to know how search works and what they can do to maximise visibility.
SERP - Organic results
SERPs typically contain two types of content - organic results and paid results. Organic results are lists of web pages that appear as a result of the search engine algorithm (more on this shortly). Search engine optimisation professionals, commonly known as SEO specialists, they specialize precisely in optimize web content and websites to rank higher in organic search results.
SERP - Paid results
Paid results, unlike organic results, are those that are paid to be displayed by an advertiser. In the past, paid results were almost exclusively limited to small text-based ads that typically appeared above and to the right of organic results. Today, however, paid results can take a variety of forms and there are several advertising formats to meet advertisers' needs.
How SERP works
Search engine results are web pages served to users when they search for something online using a search engine, such as Google. The user enters their search query, whereupon the search engine presents them with a SERP.
Each SERP is unique, even for search queries performed on the same search engine using the same keywords or search queries. This is because virtually all search engines customise the experience for their users by presenting results based on a variety of factors in addition to their search terms, such as the user's physical location and browsing history. Two SERPs may appear identical and contain many of the same results, but often have differences.
The appearance of search engine results pages is constantly changing due to experiments by Google, Bing and other search engine providers to offer their users a more intuitive experience. This, combined with new and rapidly evolving technologies in the search space, means that today's SERPs are very different from their older predecessors.