Search Engine Results Pages


What is a search engine results page?

‘Search Engine Results Pages’, SERPs, are the web pages served to users when they are searching for something online through a search engine such as Google (or any other search engine like Bing or Yahoo). The search engines algorithm displays top results it thinks are the most relevant. This becomes quite a crucial aspect to assess and factor-in within a digital strategy, and more specifically SEO.

Even though Google search engine results are mostly triggered by keywords included in the query, no two SERPs are the same. As part of the never-ending process of making algorithms more and more refined and user centric, search engines work hard to customize the experience to each individual user. This also means it has become growingly rare for a user to see the same results twice–even when using the same search engine.

Moreover, search engine results pages are becoming more and more rich in content and now feature maps, images, and videos. Further to that, search engines also offer other search options, while the ‘Advanced Search’ option allows users to tailor their search, making it more specific.

How do search engines display results?

Search engine results are displayed in order of relevance beneath the search field. Sponsored content (SEM) would appear on top, followed by organic results (SEO). The right sidebar would offer zoom-in types of further snapshots, such as the Google My Business profile or if captured from Wikipedia. If Google Chrome is the browser of choice and the user is logged into the browser with their Gmail account, this first page would also show relevant data pulled from emails, such as upcoming travels, contacts, etc.

Each result would generally include the title of the page and a snippet with a brief description of the page, normally taken from the page’s description meta tag.

How have search engine results pages evolved?

Over time, search engines have changed their tactics to align with user behaviors. In October of 2021, Google introduced infinite scroll to mobile users. This meant that it no longer displayed individual page results, and instead users were able to continuously scroll through results. 

“While you can often find what you're looking for in the first few results, sometimes you want to keep looking. In fact, most people who want additional information tend to browse up to four pages of search results. With this update, people can now seamlessly do this, browsing through many different results, before needing to click the “See more” button.”

This proved to be a well received change on mobile devices, and in December 2022 Google expanded this functionality to their desktop sites as well. This has not only changed how we speak about SERPs, search engine results pages, but also how we craft SEO strategies as well.

SERPs and Page Rankings

A SERP ranking refers to a website’s position on the results page, then the higher a website can appear within the page results the better.  Previously, we would refer to page ranking as being on page #1 (for results #1-10), page #2 (results #11-20), and so on. With the introduction of infinite scroll, however, this terminology no longer applies. Instead of numbered page rankings (being on page #1 or #2), we now must refer to the actual page results positioning which would bring the site closer to what we term ‘Google’s Golden Triangle’, that maximizes real estate for a brand’s value, which for fashion and luxury brands is crucial in a SEM and SEO strategy.

Outside of SEO and digital marketing circles, SERPs refer to all of the results a query might produce. Prior to the introduction of infinite scroll, being on page #1 was crucial, but now users are served up to 60 organic results before having to click “See More”. This increases the likelihood that they will see past the top 10 results which would have been originally been seen on page #1. With this change, Google has also increased the number of ads served in results, as well expanding snippets, like the related questions in the “People also ask” results, which provides further opportunities for brands to rank.


Consumers trust Google (and the way it presents results to them), but they are not couch-potatoes: they are web savvy and know how to scan through paid and organic page results, generally favoring the latter. So, the more visibility is obtained through SEO, the best it is for a company’s online business or eCommerce website.

It brings credibility: branding in the digital context means finding ways to build trust online. The algorithm favors reliable and trust-worthy sources vs low-ranking ones. Hence, top rankings on  search engine results pages come with the benefit of inbound business development leads. 

It generates increased attention: appearing up top gives value to a brand/product/service which brings, as a consequence, media (and consumers’) attention. Even with continuous scroll over 88% of clicks are still going to the top 3 positions, in page results, with impressions for results 15-20 only increasing from 20% to 25%.

The relationship between SEO & SERPs

Understanding the relationship between SEO & SERPs is important. By identifying which are the ones that matter the most you can strategize how to use them through smart SEO mapping. Capturing which search engine results page features drive traffic, you can optimize content and get better rankings, thus improving conversions.

Through a careful and strategy-driven mix of SEO vs. SEM actions, which relies heavily on analysis and content creation: through Google SERP checker tools, it is possible to do a SERP competitor analysis with localized results.  At neta, we would would then compare the competitor results to our clients’ digital footprint, evaluating the impact of SERP snippet features on organic search engine results.

How we apply our SERP services

Being #1 and owning the top page results is what truly matters, and the goal we set to reach for our clients at neta is to achieve a point in which all that appears when their name is typed into Google (or any other search engine) is actually tied to their brand and therefore builds and strengthens their overall positioning. 

By assessing keyword performance across Google, a Google SERP position checker helps us identify which competitors are ranking per each keyword and verify how much traffic those keywords have generated, locally and globally. Further, we would derive keyword opportunities to leverage through SEO-driven content creation, which will lead to ranking improvements in returns.

Over the years, this has allowed us to achieve outstanding results for key neta clients such as Newport Academy and Dodiee, repositioning or launching them online and making their web presence relevant, meaningful and visible.

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