May 20, 2023

SERP: Sounds Like a Disney Villain, Actually a Vital SEO Tool

Could Google be the smartest tool on the planet?

We think so.

The all-knowing Google shows off its expertise in helping users find the answers to their questions faster than ever. Though many search engines function in almost identical ways, Google dominates the search industry with 91.56% of the market share as of 2022.

The leader in web search is constantly innovating the search experience by introducing features that find the information you’re looking for quicker, easier, and with fewer roadblocks. Instead of merely displaying search results as a list, Google displays information in helpful visual call-outs called SERP features.

Does the word ‘SERP’ initiate your fight-or-flight response? There’s nothing to be frightened of. Though SERP sounds like a Disney villain, it couldn’t be more vanilla. Let us jump right in and explain SERP features.

What does the SERP acronym stand for?

The acronym ‘SERP‘ stands for Search Engine Results Page.

What are SERP features?

SERP features are any search results displayed on the Google Search Engine Results Page other than the traditional organic link results. In other words, SERP features are visible results like widgets, tables, graphs, images, or videos, that are differentiated from the basic blue link results. SERP features help users find information based on their search intent without forcing them to read through long web pages.

What are the basic elements of SERP?

When you make a Google search, you see more than just a list of 10 links. The SERP displays the traditional results, but you also have options to view Images, Videos, Shopping, and more related to your search.

The SERP will look different depending on your search query. For example, if you search for terms related to a product, you may see Shop results. You may see Google Maps results if you search for a local restaurant. These different widgets are known as SERP features.

What are the most common types of SERP features?

If you’ve ever searched on Google, you’ve likely come across one of these common SERP features.

Paid Results (Ads)

Paid Results are displayed at the top or bottom of the page and are designated with ‘Ad’ next to the result. 

Shopping Results

Shopping Results displays shoppable product links with photos, ratings, and pricing. The Shopping Results feature can have paid results or organic results.

Featured Snippets

Featured Snippets display the information you’re looking for before the page link instead of after it. Featured Snippets typically show more information than a traditional search result snippet and provide helpful information without requiring you to click on the link result.

Image Results

When Google thinks it’s possible you could be looking for an image, it’ll show you a series of pictures that direct to the entire Google Images results page.

Video Results

Video Results display videos from across the web, but mainly from YouTube. This feature may also help you identify which part of the video contains the information you’re searching for, called “Key Moments.”

Knowledge Panel

Knowledge Panel briefly explains essential data related to entities: people, places, things, and brands. It’s typically displayed on the right side of the screen. This data has been peer-reviewed for accuracy or is displayed as part of a data-sharing agreement between Google and approved partners (like Wikipedia); therefore, it’s rare that your site will show organically in one of these features.

People Also Ask/People Also Search For

The People Also Ask (PAA) or People Also Search For (PASF) box displays a toggle menu of related queries that may help direct your search based on your search intent.

Top Stories

Top Stories features a carousel of recent news articles, which is especially helpful for users searching for breaking news and events. Top Stories will display the source of the article and the date or time the article was posted.


Tweets show the most recent and relevant tweets directly from Twitter using keywords related to your search.

Local Results

Local Results will display when Google thinks the searcher is looking for a local establishment near them. It will show business information like a street address, phone number, business hours, and reviews.

Now that you’ve met the most common SERP features, are you wondering how you get your site to show up in SERP content?

How do you get SERP features?

Most SERP features, excluding Paid Results, are displayed programmatically from Google’s algorithm. Therefore there’s no way to control if your site information is displayed in SERP features.

However, to increase your chances of showing up in SERP features, you can implement SEO tactics that improve your chances of ranking higher on the SERP in general.

A SERP analysis will evaluate which sites are displayed on SERPs for your target keywords and what they’re doing (using keyword strategy and other SEO tactics) to display in prominent spots on the SERP. SERP analysis can identify new SEO tactics for you to implement and improve your performance.

Too many SERP tactics to handle on your own? No problem. The team at Marketwake is just the hero you were looking for. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can battle the SERP game for you!

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