A SERP feature is any result on a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that is not a traditional organic result. The most common SERP Features are: (You may want to read “what is SERP?” before proceeding?)
- Rich Snippets which add a visual layer to an existing result (e.g., review stars for product ratings). Rich Snippets are used by Webmasters and site authors to provide a convenient summary about the search result. To display Rich Snippets, Google looks for markup formats (microformats and RDFa) that Webmasters can add to Web pages to make structured data available for Google’s search results.
- Paid Results that are bought by bidding on keywords (e.g., AdWords or Google Shopping). The paid results appear as Sponsored linked on SERP. This is a well known result. Yet it has many variations in recent times.
- Universal Results that appear in addition to organic results (e.g., image results, new results)
- featured snippets).
- We will discuss each of this in detail in the future posts. Right now we must learn to recognize these results on a SERP. Below is a featured snippet.
- Knowledge Graph data which appears as panels or boxes (e.g., weather, Celebrity Knowledge Panel). When you find a result on Google which is like below, you are looking at Knowledge panel.
In the early days of Google, every result on the SERP looked the same, and these traditional organic results have not changed much in appearance over the years. However, beginning with AdWords in 2001, Google has been very busy adding other non-organic results into the SERP.
With all the new SERP features it has become very critical to include it in your SEO strategy.