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What are Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) | Introduction, Types and Features

Last Updated : 17 Jan, 2024
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SERP or Search Engine Results Page is what you see on your screen when you enter a query into a search engine like Google. SERPs are designed to provide users with the most relevant and helpful information related to their search queries.


SERP | Search Engine Result Page

What is a Search Engine Results Page (SERP)?

A search engine results page or SERP is a page that shows up when a user enters a search query. An Search Engine Results Page (SERP) contains multiple links that are relevant to the user query. It shows paid searches that appear at the top of the SERP. Google is constantly improving its algorithm to provide the best results, so it’s necessary to stay updated with the Google algorithm updates.

There are two types of Searches that appears in Search Engine Results Page (SERP):

  • Paid Searches : Paid Searches generally appears to the top of SERPs. Paid searches are advertisements. Search engines will show ads close to organic search results. This is the primary way search engines make a profit.
  • Organic Searches : Organic Searches are the unpaid sections in the search engine results page (SERP) that are determined based on the content’s relevance to the keyword query rather than because of Search Engine Marketing.
SERP-search engine result page


For example, if you visit a search engine like Google, you enter a search query, “Google Careers”. The first page that appears on your screen as soon as you submit your search query to Google, that page is the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Types of Search Queries in Search Engine Results Page (SERP)?

There are majorly 3 types of Search Queries on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP):

1) Informational Queries:


Informational Query

Information queries in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) refer to search queries made by users with the intent of seeking information or knowledge on a particular topic. When individuals perform informational queries, they are usually looking for answers, explanations, or details about a specific subject.

  • Example: “How does photosynthesis work?”
  • Purpose: To get information or learn about a specific topic.
  • Explanation: When you have a question or want to learn about something, you use informational queries. In this case, you’re looking for information about photosynthesis, maybe for a school project or just out of curiosity.

2) Navigational Queries:


Navigational Queries

Navigational queries in the context of a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) refer to search queries made by users with the specific intent of finding a particular website or web page.

  • Example: “geeksforgeeks login”
  • Purpose: To find a specific website or webpage.
  • Explanation: Navigational queries are used when you want to go to a specific website or page. In this example, you’re trying to find the login page for Facebook. You already know the website you want to visit.

3) Transactional Queries:


Transactional Query

Transactional queries in the context of a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) refer to search queries made by users with the intent of completing a specific transaction or online activity. Unlike informational queries that seek knowledge or navigational queries aimed at finding a particular website, transactional queries involve user actions such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or engaging in some form of online transaction.

  • Example: “Buy geeksforgeeks courses”
  • Purpose: To perform an online transaction, like making a purchase.
  • Explanation: Transactional queries are used when you want to do something specific online, like making a purchase. In this case, you’re looking to buy sneakers, and you want to find websites where you can make that transaction.

Difference between Paid and Organic Searches

Paid and Organics Searches appears to the similar in Google SERPs. But Paid Searches appears on the top of results. Google Places the paid searches above the organics searches. Here’s the difference between the two:

S. No. Parameters Organic Search Paid Search
1. Search Results Organic Search results appear in the middle of the page.  Paid Search results appear at the top of the web page.
2. Clicks Organic Search gets less clicks.  Paid search gets more clicks.
3. Ranking Organic Search is a long process to get rank in one of the top positions. By paying big amount, site can be ranked on top quickly.
4. Traffic Traffic is better than other forms.  Traffic is not better than other forms.
5. Conversion Conversion is not as good as Paid search traffic.  Highly optimized keywords generate more conversions.
6. Effect It is long lasting.  Traffic will stop if paying per click is stopped.
7. When to Choose, by a company?
  • Need of Consistent results
  • In establishing website authority
  • Increasing website value
  • Immediate results
  • Targeting specific audience
  • Limited time offer
  • Priority in Ranking
8. Pros
  • Costs nothing
  • Impressive Return on Investment (ROI)
  • By maintaining SEO strategy as well as expanding that, a company can take maximum benefit out of it.
  • Increasing credibility
  • Alluring relevant users
  • You can help with a variety of alternative marketing outlets, including Social, Paid, Email, Video, and more
  • Instant results
  • Provides keyword info for SEO
  • Impressive Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Allures ready-to-buy users
  • Some instances of ad campaign data: Keywords, Time spent on the page,
    Demographics and other information.
  • You can help with a variety of alternative marketing outlets, including Social, Paid, Email, Video, and more
  • Suitable for all budgets
9. Cons
  • Regular maintenance is required.
  • Takes time to provide results
  • Fights for real estate from search engines however, an SEO background and skill set are required.
  • It necessitates ongoing maintenance 
  • Upfront costs
  • Short-term outcomes are provided
  • PPC experience and skillset are required.

What are the features of a Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)?

Since Google is the most common and popular browser used by the people, so we’ll discuss the features of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) that Google have:

  1. Search Bar: Search bar appears at the top, where you can type anything you want to search.
  2. Search Results: Once you do a search, the list that appears that gives your relevant information about your search query is search result
  3. Title and Description: Every Search has a title that is clickable and below it there’s a description for the same. Description provides information about the result.
  4. URL: The web address (URL) of the page is shown. It’s usually in green and tells you where the information is coming from.
  5. Featured Snippets: Sometimes, you might see a box at the top with a quick answer to your question. This is called a featured snippet. It gives you the most important information right away.
  6. Images and Videos: In some cases, there are images or videos in the results, especially if your query is about visual content.
  7. Ads: On the top and sometimes on the side, there could be ads. These are usually marked as “Ad” and are paid promotions.
  8. Knowledge Graph: On the right side, you might find a Knowledge Graph that provides additional information about a topic, like quick facts or related searches.
  9. Filters: Sometimes, there are filters (like images, videos, news) that help you narrow down your search based on the type of content you’re looking for.

The appearance of SERP features depends on the specific query and Google’s assessment of which features would be most helpful.

How to Optimize Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

To improve your website’s visibility and ranking in Google SERPs, you can follow these optimization techniques:

  • Keyword Research:Determine the terms and phrases that your target market is most likely to use while looking for information about your company.
  • Content Optimization: Create high-quality, informative, and engaging content that addresses your target audience’s needs. Optimize your content by incorporating relevant keywords in a natural way.
  • Technical SEO: Ensure that your website is technically sound and optimized for search engines. This includes aspects like page speed, mobile-friendliness, and proper use of structured data.
  • Link Building: Build high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites to improve your website’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.
  • Local SEO: If you have a local business, optimize your website and online presence for local search. This includes creating a Google My Business profile and optimizing your website for local keywords.

About 83% of the visitors, approaches the first website that ranking on the top of the google search result, hence optimizing Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) can help to get more traffic to the site.


Understanding how Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) work and optimizing your website for relevant keywords can help you attract more organic traffic, increase your brand visibility, and achieve your online marketing goals.

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