What Is A SERP?

At one time or another, while surfing the web, you might have encountered the acronym SERP. But like many people, you may not have an idea what it means or what it does. If you want to know more about SERP, what it is, and what it does, then satisfy your curiosity through reading this article.

SERP means “Search Engine Results Page.” For instance, you type in the words “digital camera” into a search engine (like Google, Yahoo!, Bing or one of the many others available) then it will take a few seconds and then re-direct you to the page where all the results for “digital camera” appear. That type of page is a SERP page which the search engine returns with the results of the search, responding to a keyword query. Depending upon the search term, you may see no results or millions.

SERPs of major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing may contain any of the following different types of listings. These include:

– contextual
– algorithmic
– organic
– sponsored
– images
– maps
– definitions
– suggested search refinements

Those major search engines also individualize the specific types of search like news, images, videos, and blogs search. You may even see some social media platforms for companies or individuals in the search engine results. These specialized searches often arrive at SERPs that offer very specific results.

Almost all search engines have two types of SERP listings: organic results and paid results. There is quite a difference between the two, so they have been explained below.


1. Organic results

Also called natural results, these are searches that lead to results that are not paid advertisements. Simply put, organic search results are SERP listings that match the closest to the user’s keyword/search queries, usually determined by their relevance. Almost all users (especially researchers or students) always prefer this type of result because an organic SERP listing will give them more accurate results of their search queries.

Businesses that are tracking their SERP, for search engine optimization (SEO) reasons on a regular basis, also prefer to see organic results over paid results. An organic result is one in which a potential customer has used one of the business’ keywords in a search and found a link to the company’s website. When the person clicks on the link in the search engine results, it generally means the person is interested in the company as well as the products or services they offer.


2. Paid results

Paid SERPS are basically a digital form of advertising. Website owners (especially who operate businesses) shell out an advertising fee in order to have their sites rank (always) on top of search engines results. For most of the users, however, they will see this as another ad, and will often skip them and instead go over to the organic SERPs for more accurate results. Online shoppers will, on the other hand, find paid SERPs to be useful guides. Paid forms of SERP listings are sponsored links. Launching a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign will enable website owners to display their ads in prominent SERP positions.


As a website or blog owner, it is important that you include the SEO (search engine optimization) element to your site or blog to help your website rank well on search engines. You adjust the content of your web page or blog entry with the appropriate and relevant keywords. Being aware of and using SEO will provide a better chance that your website will rank well on organic SERP listings. But this is easier said than done.

Unless you have unlimited time and (especially) resources and you don’t mind being charged for the higher costs, improving your website’s SERP can be challenging. Intensive research on keywords, analyzing keyword data by utilizing research tools, determining the analytics that tells you whether or not you should add something more to improve your website, launching ad campaigns, and using the relevant keywords, has the possibility to get your website to rank high on SERP listings. It’s a complicated process, but once you do it right, as well as have some luck – your website’s position on SERPs may climb several notches higher. SEO software and online tools (like SEOMoz.org or Raven SEO) are definitely a big assistance in improving your site’s rankings on SERPs.