In today’s post, we’re going to look at a range of SERP functions and features to look out for in 2020 and beyond!
Throughout 2020, the capacity for the ‘SERP’ continues to be restructured and improved. A SERP function can produce a plethora of results based on what query or question is entered into the search engine.
Google offers various functions and features including podcasts, snippets, images, videos, locations, etc. Below, we’ll dive into a range of these SERP functions and learn why optimizing for a few of them can be beneficial for your blog or website.
Let’s start by clarifying some basic SEO terms, especially if this is your first time learning about SERPs and SEO in general. Feel free to skip these parts if you just want to learn about the SERP Features –
An internet search engine is a program that allows users to search for almost anything online using a variety of queries or phrases and sometimes, parameters.
Search engines aren’t restricted to the likes of Google or Bing. They can also be integrated into social media sites and apps like Facebook and LinkedIn. For now, though, let’s focus on web search engines for the sake of SEO.
Google created SERP, which as you may know, stands for Search Engine Result Pages. These are pages that are generated each time a user enters a search query or phrase in the search engine.
According to MOZ, the perfect description of a SERP feature is any type of result on a Google Search Engine Results Page that is not a traditional organic result.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a process of creating, modifying, and optimizing the content on a website or application in order to achieve good rankings in the SERPs. In other words, to optimize content so that it appears high in search engine result pages, thus, increasing organic search engine traffic.
SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. SEM involves creating, optimizing, and using paid search engine advertisements in order to increase search engine traffic.
SERP features help to improve a user’s experience in Google. Not so long ago, if you wanted to check if a website or page contained the information you wanted, you would have to click on the actual page URL to find out.
Nowadays, it’s much easier to find what you’re searching for and as website owners, these SERP features can be optimized further, which means potentially more people will be able to search, find, and access your content quickly.
So then, let’s now dive into all the features of SERP. Because grasping a better understanding of these features will help you to get your blog or website ready for more traffic, leads, customers, sales, and more.
This is an exciting feature of SERP that can be utilized to get more traffic. These interactive snippets are used to display the queries related to a search. When you click on one of the queries inside of the snippet, you will see more relevant queries, therefore, go much deeper into a search query.
Use these queries as a Latent Semantic Index (LSIs) if you are creating content around a keyword. This will help you to cover your subject in greater depth.
Recommended Post: How To Find The Best Long Tail Keywords For Your Next Blog Post
Images are used to add visual context to content on the web, but they can also be used to entice user engagement. Images that create curiosity are great at improving content visibility. They, however, do not only appear spontaneously in the SERPs, images first need to be optimized.
The following parameters should be fulfilled to optimize the images:
These are the links that appear when a brand-related query is posted by the user.
The links appear under the home URL, enabling searchers to click directly on the main website pages. One of the key benefits is that you get higher rankings in search engine result pages.
Follow these steps to get your site featured in-site links.
Video search provides users with quick access to video content. The videos actually come from YouTube. But if a related video is being featured on your website or blog article, your video can appear in the search engine result pages.
According to this source, we watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos per day. There’s never been a greater opportunity to create a YouTube channel and automate your website traffic by creating and optimizing videos.
More than thirty million podcasts have already been published. So, how do you get your show noticed when the competition is huge? The answer is, by featuring it in the SERP podcast.
For a search query that matches your podcast show, listeners can tune into your show quickly. Like videos, podcasts can be streamed and therefore optimized the same way as video snippets.
Google also knows the most critical parts of a podcast show too, which enables users to go directly to the part they need to find answers to their query.
If you’re a podcaster and want to learn how to get your audio content in SERPs. Check out these tips –
One of the hottest features is the highlighted snippet which can be found on position zero! Everyone should be optimizing for this feature. The snippet is content taken from a page and included in the SERPs to answer the query of a user correctly. For instance, an article, video, chart, or table may be used.
You’ll get tons of traffic to your website or blog if your content is in the snippets, so be sure to optimize for this feature.
Google and Twitter are working closely together for tweets to appear in SERPs. Complete Twitter content access is provided to Google by Twitter.
Google would, therefore, show the results with twitter cards. The 6-card carousel is shown to match a user’s query, and circulating tweets are usually shown here. If a trending tweet fits a query, it will be displayed in the result.
Google Ads is a feature of SERP that lets you rank in the first four positions of the search engine result pages.
Isn’t that what everyone wants? But, the traffic generated will not be organic, of course. You have to pay to be listed in those four positions. In other words, Google Ads are paid advertisements.
If you’re willing to invest in paying for a top spot in the SERPs using Google Ads, here what you will need –
Top stories are shown as Breaking Story Cards in the SERPs, which can meet the demand of a searcher. There’s the potential to drive a lot of traffic from this feature. There are influential brands listed, like BBC News Online. However, your content can also be included in the trending stories listings.
Usually, the knowledge graph shows up on the right side of SERPs and provides useful information for queries such as;
It’s not easy to be included in the knowledge graph. In addition, a web user/searcher can collect the necessary data he or she requires without having to click on the page. However, the ‘Discover More’ option on the page is usually provided.
Google has developed E-A-T updates, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This feature can help you make your content visible in the knowledge graph. Follow the steps below to get featured in the knowledge graph.
Often known as the ‘maps pack’, the Local Pack is the ideal option for a local business to get ranked. You may have noticed if you’ve ever done a search for a local business, the first group of listings come as a pack of three, known as the 3-pack.
Being listed int he local pack can help to rocket traffic to a website. In turn, local businesses such as cafeterias, carpenters, hairdressers, plumbers, and several more companies will be on the local pack.
Many searchers tend to ignore the rest of the results because the local pack shows everything they need, which often includes:
These results will typically be taken into account by a user, which is why any local organization should aspire to be included.
Next, local businesses need to sign in with Google My Business. You can then continue optimizing inside of the Local Pack.
The Local Teaser isn’t that different from the Local Pack.
The SERP feature on the Local Teaser display offers a carefully selected information about the costs, addresses, and ratings of local businesses.
There is, however, an additional searcher function. Dropdown options are available on the Local Teaser which can reveal further listings.
The Local Teaser contains the top three local search results, as mentioned above. All three findings can be seen on a map in the local pack with information on each service.
So, why did Google produce the Local Teaser and Map Pack?
Google realized that users needed additional information about local businesses that the Local Pack does not offer. So, they developed the Local Teaser. A user can now retrieve any necessary information without leaving the SERPs all because of this feature.
Right then, follow these tips to get featured in Local Teasers.
The Knowledge Card is a SERP function, similar to the Knowledge Graph, which shows the data in SERP. This feature of the search engine search results pages provides a direct answer to questions. For example, “What is the distance between earth and moon?”
The specific answer is shown in the Knowledge Card for each query. The Knowledge Card is closely related to the E-A-T upgrade. Google is also concentrating firmly on improving this feature so that it produces a more accurate outcome.
You can feature your content in the knowledge card by using:
SERPs have come a long way from only displaying the websites to all of these features that we covered above. Of course, it’s a good idea to know what features you want to use before creating content for your site or blog.
Search Engine Result Pages have evolved so much in the last decade. It is critical to keep up with those changes.
So we as content creators can ensure our content remains in a good position in the SERPs. Best of luck.
About The Author
Afrasiab Ahmad writes SEO articles for online business marketers and SEO tools users to rank in top SERP. His articles have appeared in a number of authoritative websites including – The Odyssey Online, selfgrowth.com, and Inside Tech Box. He often contributes to PrePostSEO.com on SEO techniques.