A SERP Feature is a result in a Search Engine Page (SERP) that is not a traditional search result. The purpose behind SERP Features are to provide specialized results so that a user doesn’t need to click away from Google to have their question answered.
The Types of SERP Features
There are several different types of SERP Features that you can encounter on Google:
AdWords – These typically appear at the top and bottom of the page and are the paid ads within Google. These are distinguishable by the green “Ad” box in front of the URL.
Featured Snippet – Featured snippets answer a search query within Google. They are typically very short and to the point.
Image & Image Pack – For certain queries, Google pulls in images to provide visual aid.
Knowledge Card – Knowledge cards are part of Google’s Knowledge Graph and represent data in a visual form.
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Knowledge Panel – These panels appear on the right side of the SERP and provide more information about a topic.
Local Pack – Google will sometimes display location-based searches in the form of a map pointing to the three closest locations.
Top Stories – These are news-related results that appear at the top of a search, when relevant.
Related Questions – This section shows related search terms to your current query. It always begins with “people also ask.”
Reviews – If a business has received Google reviews, star ratings will appear underneath that domain’s result.
Shopping Results – These results appear from the Google Shopping network, and are also known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Like AdWords, these are paid search results.
Sitelinks – Sometimes a search query for a specific business will display up to 10 sitelinks to deeper pages within the website.
Twitter – Twitter cards and Tweets relevant to your search query can appear about halfway down the SERP.
Video – Because Google owns YouTube, you may see a video result at the top of the SERP.
Why Do SERP Features Matter?
Anything out of the norm naturally catches a user’s eye. Because many SERP Features are so visual, they naturally draw attention. Additionally, most of these special results appear at the top of the page or on the righthand side on desktop. Since some SERP Features don’t require an extra click, they are often the starting and stopping point for a user.
For more information about how to optimize your pages for SERP, check out our blog: How Google Ranks Websites.
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