SERP features are any additional elements on a search engine results page that go beyond the standard format of a search result.

Google refers to these sorts of results as “search result features,” or “search features.”

The company is always testing and improving their features to make sure their search engine is easy to use.

Here is an in-depth guide to SERP features to help you understand what they are and how they can impact your website ranking.

Featured Snippets can appear above the regular organic search results. This is sometimes called “position zero” in the rankings.

TheFeatured Snippet is a section of text or video from a website that Google highlights in order to provide a concise and direct answer to the user’s question.

The link to the domain that the information is being pulled from always comes after the majority of the text in Featured Snippets.

The following text is about a feature on a search engine that typically provides results for queries about personalities, events, scientific facts, sports, conversions, calculations, and color picking.

The following text is about featured snippets appearing as widgets. Sometimes, if you search for something like “weather” or “convert inches into centimeters,” a featured snippet will appear in the form of a widget.

2. Knowledge Panel

Google provides a quick overview of people, places, or things using a knowledge panel. This overview often includes significant dates, a brief description of the topic, and some images.

The panel is located at the top right corner of SERPs on desktop devices and at the top on mobile devices.

The Knowledge Graph gives information to the knowledge panel, which is a database that gets general information from places such as the CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia.

3. Image Pack

If Google believes that visual content would be more helpful in providing a complete set of results, then image packs will be displayed.

If you see a row or block of related images among your organic search results, you can click on any image to open the “Images” search tab. Once you’re on that tab, you’ll be able to find the website where the image is hosted.

Image search optimization is a process that can help you improve the quality and relevancy of your image search results.

If you want Google to better understand your images and display them in a way that makes sense, using structured data markup is a good idea.

4. Top Stories

The top stories on any given news site are typically the most valuable to readers in terms of providing more information about a significant event or breaking news.

Google gives you a list of news stories related to your query, along with the date and source of each story.

5. People Also Ask (PAA)

PAA refers to questions Google automatically generates that are related to your question.

The questions in the PAA box are related to answers that users can click on to read on the Google search results page. This can help people better understand their initial question without clicking on other results.

This article begins with a list of four questions. However, it also provides short answers that resemble a featured snippet.

Other questions related to the topic may also appear on the search engine results page (SERP), but they are usually near the top of the page, often appearing under the Featured Snippet.

Pressing on a related question’s consequence will take you to the website that affords the response.

Sitelinks are special links that appear below a website’s search result on Google.

The links that appear on a Google search are there to help people quickly navigate to a particular part of a website. These links only appear when Google easily understands the navigation system.

The sitelinks under the bank’s main URL might offer shortcuts to pages such as the “online banking portal,” “find bank locations,” or “contact us” if someone searches for a bank.

Your website can get a Sitelinks Search Box in addition to the extra links. If you implement the structured data correctly, you can power it by your website’s internal search engine.

At the bottom of the SERPs, there is a “related searches” section that contains other search queries that are related to the initial search.

Google provides related searches that you may not have considered to help you find what you’re looking for.

8. Shopping Results

If someone is looking to buy something, Google will show them a bunch of different options from different places in the form of a carousel.

By having this feature, people are able to look at products from multiple ecommerce websites without having to search for additional queries on the search engine results pages.

9. Reviews

The yellow star rating next to search results lets users know how other people have rated that particular result. The star rating is a universal way to communicate value to all kinds of searchers.

Search results that contain reviews tend to have a higher average click-through rate.

By ensuring that your content is reviewable and your page has the correct schema markup, you may gain access to this feature.

Google will check to see if the reviews are credible and if they are appropriate for the web page.

10. Local Pack

When someone searches for something like “coffee shop near me” or “best pizza near [city],” businesses close to the person’s location will show up in the search results.

The Local Pack is a part of a search engine results page that includes local business listings. It is typically positioned at the top of the page, but may occasionally be below the organic listings.

A Local Pack usually consists of:

  • A map with locations and pins
  • A five-star rating scale for each location
  • Three search results (some of which can be ads)

Clicking on an icon of a business will provide you with the Google Business Profile listing, which holds more detailed information about the business, including: 

  • Working hours
  • Phone numbers
  • Pictures
  • Q&A
  • Popular times
  • Reviews

Sixty percent of smartphone users tap on a search result that takes them directly to a business’ contact information.

The popularity of the “near me” feature is also increasing as the volume of voice search queries grows.

The Local Pack is a great way to attract customers through marketing. You should learn about how to improve your local SEO presence, as well as how to use Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business).

Much of the data in the Local Pack search results come from your Google Business Profile (GBP). Having complete control of your GBP will let you observe and manage this data.

While it is important to remember that Local Pack rankings are determined by a separate algorithm then regular organic search results, this only means that Local Pack SEO needs a specialized approach.

To improve your website’s ranking in search engine results, in addition to the standard tactics like making sure it works well on mobile devices and loading quickly, you should also create and optimize your Google Business Profile and get listed in local directories.

The Local Pack is an algorithm used by Google to improvelocal rankings. You can learn more about how to improve local rankings from Google’s official guide.

11. Video

A video that is related to a search query appears on a SERP among organic results.

The following text describes a feature of a search engine results page that may include a link to a video hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo, or a webpage with embedded video.

12. Witter

In 2015, Google teamed up with Twitter to include tweets in its search engine results pages.

Twitter search results tend to favor the most recent and popular tweets related to a query.

Twitter results can appear anywhere on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP), but they are typically seen after a few organic results. These results can come from either verified or unverified accounts.

13. FAQs

If you include questions or the word “FAQs” in your search query, a list of Frequently Asked Questions will appear under the organic results.

Your page’s result will only include this feature if you mark up your content with FAQ schema.

14. Google Flights Pack

The Google Flights pack presents flight options in a table format that can be filtered and sorted through on SERPs.

Both organic and paid search listings from flight companies are eligible to show in this pack.

15. Hotel Pack

The Hotel Pack on Google shows hotel listings on the search engine results pages (SERP) in a map pack that is similar to the Local Pack. The only difference is that the Hotel Pack only features hotels. Also, note that hotels and advertisers pay for the placements through Google Hotel Ads.

16. Job Listings

Google lists job postings from websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and company websites.

The following text explains how to get your site’s listings into a special block by using the JobPosting schema markup.

SERP Features Importance

“Rich results,” or results that directly answer a query in the search engine results pages, provide a better user experience by allowing people to find answers more quickly without having to review web pages to determine if the information is trustworthy.

What does this mean for brands and marketers concerning SERP features? Is it worth targeting these features, and if so, how do we go about it?

Driving Clicks

If a SERP feature is the last step in a user’s journey, it could mean that fewer people are clicking through to the site, which could have a negative impact on traffic figures.

The bad news

If a question can be fully answered in a featured snippet, that can cause trouble. For example, consider CelebrityNetWorth.com.

This website was launched in 2008 with the purpose of providing a database detailing how much celebrities are worth. The business thrived for a long time; boasting high volumes of organic traffic and a healthy income from ad revenue.

Google traffic fell sharply after 2016 when the site began displaying information on all 25,000 celebrities in its database in a featured format. Advertisers removed their support, leading to significant downsizing at the company.

This type of incident has caused there to be a lot of debate surrounding featured snippets– with many people saying that Google is taking advantage of websites by using their content and traffic.

The good news

The website CelebrityNetWorth.com saw a huge drop in search traffic because it is only useful for a very specific need. Most other websites would see an increase in traffic if their content began appearing in featured snippets.

If you are currently ranked fourth on Google, but your content is also used to populate a featured snippet in position zero, you are likely to get clicks from whoever is ranked first. This is because if the featured snippet satisfies the user’s intent, they are less likely to click on the first result.

Some sites get a lot of value from having a high ranking in the search engine results pages, even if people don’t click on the result.

If you want to establish your brand as an authority, you should present it as an expert and answer direct questions. This will help make it a more obvious choice to revisit later and establish your place on the consideration shortlist.

Voice Search

A lot of the time, the results you get from a voice search are the same as the featured snippets. This is because content that is optimised well should be suitable for different types of results. This content should be around 50 words long and should be a concise answer. This works well for voice search as it does for featured snippets.

If your brand is mentioned by Google Home or Siri, it is a good way to increase brand awareness and trust. Google will send the user the URL where they can read more about it.

Intent

The SERP features offer valuable insights for brands and marketers regarding the engagement of people searching for a keyword as well as the type of content they are looking for.

Google updates the types of results it shows based on how people interact with them.

If Google sees that a lot of people are searching for images instead of regular results for “interior design ideas,” they will include image results in the universal search results.

You can learn what content formats and types a searcher is interested in by looking at the Google SERP features for a given query, and use this information to adjust your own content accordingly.

The text discusses the importance of taking into account the audience when designing a presentation, as this can affect various elements such as the focus on visual aids and the structure of the presentation.

Optimizing SERP Features

Schema

S structured data mark-up from schema.org may help your content be eligible for certain types of results, and in some cases it may be required.

The mark-up on a web page can help search engines to identify entities and properties, such as the price or ratings of a product.

Content Format

The right formatting is important for showing up in search engine results pages. Particularly in the case of featured snippets, Google needs to understand how relevant content is to a user’s question.

The most obvious way to do this is to create a heading that states the question you want to answer and then follow that heading with the answer, a list, or a table.

Mint is a free personal finance service that provides users with a free credit score and report. Mint is a free personal finance service that allows users to keep track of their credit score and report.

The Future of SERPs

The amount of search results will decrease as Google’s assurance in user intent gets stronger.

This is becoming more and more true – the average click-through rate for a result past position 20 is less than 2%. But eventually, even being in second place might not be good enough.

Google has introduced new features like SERP and infinite scrolling in order to prioritize results shown on page one, and to ensure that users can find the answers they need with minimal effort.

This is where the People Also Ask box comes in. It allows people to refine their searches and find what they’re looking for on the SERP.

Although Google can now respond to many informational queries correctly, it is still far from providing one true answer. It can only help us make decisions to act to a certain extent.

When we need to make a decision, we often start by looking for information from various sources. We look at this information to help us decide what to do.

Google’s goal is to keep as many steps within its search results until it can offer not just answers, but solutions.

About the Author Brian Richards

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