SEO: What Are SERPSs? And How Will It Impact Your Website?

Before we get started with working on getting your website to show up in a search engine’s results pages (SERPs), we need to understand what a search engine’s results page actually looks like. Even though there are quite a few search engine’s out there and they each have clear differences, they do have similarities when it comes to their search engine results pages (SERPs). In most cases, we will probably find are some paid listings. Now, paid listings are a bit different than the natural, organic, traditional listings that I will be discussing throughout these SEO sessions. Paid listings are really advertisements and services like Google AdWords and Microsoft’s AdCenter/BingAds give advertisers access to placements in search results pages through a bidding process. A standard search results page will display ten organic results on a page with each linking out to various web pages.  Each result may very well look a little different, but each one will have a headline, description and a link back to the website. You need to know what these components look like, because in later sessions we will be modifying and optimizing these particular elements that may display in a search result.


One very important thing I want to point out is that the web has changed substantially from the moment search engines first appeared. And there is quite a bit of content on the web that spans text, video, and web pages. You have to give credit to search engines, though, as they have done a good job of keeping pace with all the content that get added to the web on a daily basis. And, even though we are still accustomed to viewing basic descriptions in search results, these results are now displaying video, images, products, and maps, too. These types of results are termed “blended results” which include all kinds of different content in a search results page. Every now and then, a blended result will have a group of video clips or images that reflect a users’ search query. Or you might see a list of businesses including maps to those businesses. Or it may be an image of a product along with its corresponding price that may show up in a search result.


Social signals allow search engines to show more personalized results like gossip columns that your family or friends have shared. These types of results can show up in a variety of different ways depending on what the search engines think are relevant and appropriate to the users’ search query. What you need to remember is that you have a lot of opportunities to have your website displayed in search engine results pages. And the more you are familiar with how search engines determine what is to be displayed, the more you will understand how to get your content shown higher in search results.