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A SERP, which is an acronym for search engine results page, refers to the web page displayed after a search engine user performs a search query.

A typical Search Engine Results Page (SERP)


Typically a search engine results page displays the search terms, and both the organic and paid results on the page.

Search Query
The search query, keywords or keyword phrases that a web search user types into a search field, will usually appear on the top of the SERP for reference. In addition, the number of total search results are provided underneath this section. In this case, a broad search was done using “PPC Ottawa” with the number of results totaling 348,000 (note that WebFuel appears as number 1!)

Natural Listings
Organic or natural listings appear on the left side of the SERP. You will note that the keywords used in the search appear in bold. The norm is ten listings per page. Ranking is based on relevancy determined by the search engine with the best result listed first, second one next, and so on.

Paid Listings
Typically the paid search results will be found to the right of the page and at times above the unpaid results. Paid search advertising is identified as Sponsored Links (Google), Sponsor Results (Yahoo! Search) or Sponsored Sites (MSN Live Search). Ranking depends on a number of factors including relevancy, bid amount and quality score.

Snippets appear in the organic search results section. Each listing is a snippet which includes a title, short page summary and web address. Generally, the title is derived from the website’s title tag and the summary is pulled from the meta description of a web page. The clickable link is the URL of the web page. It is often the home page but not always.

Does your business appear in a SERP?