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Everybody knows what the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) looks like. We’ve all been there. We cross that page with every search we do. Still, the page can look rather different depending on what you’re searching for. And, which of those results are paid for and which are not – the organic ones? In this post, I’ll explain all the elements of the Google Search Engine Results Page.
Content type: Many search features are tied to the topic of your page. For example, if the page has a recipe or a news article, or contains information about an event or a book. Google Search results can then apply content-specific features such as making your page eligible to appear in a top news stories carousel, a recipe carousel, or an events list.
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. A SERP is the web page you see when you search for something on Google. Each SERP is unique, even for the same keywords, because search engines are customized for each user. A SERP typically contains organic and paid results, but nowadays it also has featured snippets, images, videos, and location-specific results.
Early versions of search algorithms relied on webmaster-provided information such as the keyword meta tag or index files in engines like ALIWEB. Meta tags provide a guide to each page's content. Using metadata to index pages was found to be less than reliable, however, because the webmaster's choice of keywords in the meta tag could potentially be an inaccurate representation of the site's actual content. Inaccurate, incomplete, and inconsistent data in meta tags could and did cause pages to rank for irrelevant searches.[dubious – discuss] Web content providers also manipulated some attributes within the HTML source of a page in an attempt to rank well in search engines. By 1997, search engine designers recognized that webmasters were making efforts to rank well in their search engine, and that some webmasters were even manipulating their rankings in search results by stuffing pages with excessive or irrelevant keywords. Early search engines, such as Altavista and Infoseek, adjusted their algorithms to prevent webmasters from manipulating rankings.