What does SERP mean?

SERP is the abbreviation of Search Engine Result Page and refers to the pages where search results are listed in search engines like Google.

Ranking in SERPs is essential to the success of websites. Website operators want their offers to be displayed as high up in the SERPs as possible. According to studies, the majority of clicks are distributed among the first 10 search results for a keyword. After the first SERP, the user’s attention drops drastically. For example, according to a recent study by the Mediative Digital Marketing Company, only about 1 percent of clicks are on the second Google results page.

The order of the search results in the SERPs is determined by the secret algorithms of the search engines. According to the Google search engine, over 200 factors go into the ranking of a website. These include qualitative links pointing to a website and user-relevant, high-quality content on a website.

Depending on the search query, the display of the SERPs varies. For example, depending on the search term entered (keyword or keyword combination), advertising, images, results from Google Maps and/or ratings can be displayed in the search results.

In addition, the SERPs can differ depending on the user, because they are personalized according to location and search history, for example. However, if a user feels that his or her personal rights have been violated by the search results displayed, it is possible to request that Google remove the search result.

Because a high ranking position is so important for a website’s traffic, search engine optimization (SEO) attempts to positively influence a website’s position in the SERPs. For example, experienced SEOs analyze users’ search queries for certain terms and try to answer them in a website’s articles.

This is because the decisive factor for a website’s ranking in the SERPs is, above all, how relevant a website is for a particular search query. In order for search engines to better scan the content of a website, it is important that the website content contains relevant keywords to the topic. However, since Google is becoming increasingly better at recognizing semantic connections, a website should not only be optimized for a specific keyword, but for an entire topic environment – for example, by including terms and synonyms that are relevant to the topic.

With regular updates such as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, Google has refined its algorithm to show users even more relevant results to a search query.

With the Google updates, the SERPs have also changed. For example, Google has expanded the so-called Knowledge Graph with its Hummingbird update. This means that certain search queries are already answered completely in the SERPs, so that users no longer have to click on individual search results.

Successful search engine optimizers must always be up to date with the latest Google updates and adapt their SEO strategies accordingly. However, if an attempt is made to influence the search engine ranking through unfair methods and tricks such as keyword stuffing, Google will penalize the website in question. This has a negative impact on the ranking and can even lead to complete exclusion from the index.

Another way to get the user’s attention in the SERPs is search engine advertising (SEA). Google AdWords ads are displayed above the search results as well as to the right of them on the SERP. Most businesses rely on a combination of SEO and SEA to draw traffic to their website.

The structure of SERP snippets

On average, users spend just 1.17 seconds looking at the SERP, according to the Mediative study. For this reason, SERP snippets play an essential role.

These snippets, the text of the respective search result, consist of a headline (title) and a descriptive text (metadescription). The text can be maintained by website operators in the metadata of the content management system (CMS).

The metadata strongly influences whether the user clicks on a certain search result of the SERP or not. Therefore, the title and description should be written as meaningful as possible. The sensible placement of relevant keywords in the title and description can also have a positive effect on the ranking. However, the associated website should always deliver what it promises.

When formulating SERP snippets, it is important to get to the point precisely. Google only allows a certain number of characters: A rough rule of thumb for the Meta Description is that it should not be longer than 150-160 characters including spaces. For the Title, it depends on the width in pixels. However, it should not exceed 70 characters.

A helpful tool that shows how the snippet appears from the user’s point of view is, for example, the SERP Snippet Generator from Sistrix.

As high as possible – this is the motto of website operators when it comes to positioning in the SERPs. This is because the first search results page on Google accounts for the most clicks.

Search engine optimization attempts to influence the ranking of a website in the SERPs. In addition, search engine advertising such as GoogleAdwords is used to draw users’ attention to the company’s own website. In addition, the design of the SERP snippets plays an important role in generating clicks in the SERPs.

With the Google updates, the SERPs have changed. Instead of pure text, users are now presented with images, videos, reviews and maps in the search results. Successful search engine optimizers must always be up to date regarding the latest Google updates and adapt their strategies accordingly.

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