You are reading the article What’s In A Serp? Google Search Results & Features You Need To Know updated in February 2024 on the website Bellydancehcm.com. We hope that the information we have shared is helpful to you. If you find the content interesting and meaningful, please share it with your friends and continue to follow and support us for the latest updates. Suggested March 2024 What’s In A Serp? Google Search Results & Features You Need To Know
Google Search is constantly evolving to serve more useful results to searchers.
One of the more recent figures we have states that Google conducted 4,887 launches, 17,523 live traffic experiments, 383,605 search quality tests, and 62,937 side-by-side experiments to improve the results search engine users received in a single year.
The results of rigorous testing allow Google to determine the best search features to deliver search results in a format that is most useful to your query.
In this article, you’ll learn what a SERP is and the various search features that could affect the way your business appears to your target audience.What Is A SERP?
SERP stands for search engine results page. This is the page that gives search engine users the best results for their queries.
Search engine results pages can vary from one search engine user to another based on a variety of factors including whether you are logged into your Google account, your location settings, your language preferences, and your search history.
The following is the SERP for SEO.
At the start of the search results, Google displays the approximate number of search results for the query and the time it takes to deliver the SERP.
In this case, there are approximately 828,000,000 webpages indexed for the keyword SEO, and results were delivered in 0.59 seconds.
Following the four Google Ads, you see the first organic listing that appears in this SERP for Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.
After this organic listing, Google includes a People Also Ask section.
To the right of the Google Ads, organic listing, and People Also Ask section is Google’s knowledge panel for search engine optimization. Knowledge panels can vary based on the entity they describe.
In this case, the knowledge panel pulls the definition for SEO from Wikipedia, followed by related terms, SEO podcasts, and related terms people also search for.
The next portion of the SERP for SEO contains two more organic listings, followed by the local pack featuring SEO companies.
To the right, you can also see a continuation of the knowledge panel, which searches for the dictionary definition of SEO.
Following the local pack, Google displays the top news stories about SEO from the past 24 hours.
After another organic listing, Google places three videos from YouTube about SEO into the SERP, followed by another four organic listings.
Finally, Google has more organic results and related searches.
Instead, after a listing of related searches, the next page of search results will automatically appear as you scroll down.
In this case, the second SERP begins with a Google Ad.SERP Features
In the first example of a SERP from chúng tôi for SEO, there are multiple search features beyond organic search results including Google Ads, People Also Ask, knowledge panels, top stories, and videos.
According to Semrush Sensor, most SERPs have at least one feature.
Let’s take a look at the SERP features most often seen on Google.Sitelinks
One of the top search features – found in over 66% of SERPs in the U.S. – is sitelinks.
Sitelinks are simply links that will allow search users to find specific content beyond the homepage.
In the following SERP for REI, you can see that REI has the first position in organic search.
Beneath their listing, Google displays a sitelink search box followed by four sitelinks to popular pages on their website.
Learn more about how to optimize your website for sitelinks.People Also Ask
Another top search feature is the People Also Ask section. This feature can appear anywhere on a SERP.
It typically begins by displaying five of the top questions asked about a search query.
In the following SERP for [search engine], Google adds a People Also Ask section after the first organic search result.Reviews
In the following SERP for a current bestselling book, you can see the reviews feature in action on two of the top three organic listings.
Learn more about how you can optimize relevant pages on your website for reviews with the review snippet.Images
When Google anticipates that a search query would best be answered visually, they use the images feature. This feature can appear anywhere throughout the SERP.
In the following search for a [pumpkin plant], Google serves up a dozen photos of pumpkin plants.
To optimize your images for Google image search and the potential to appear in the images section of related SERPs, check out these 12 essential image optimization tips.Videos
Similar to the image feature, the video feature of SERPs can appear anywhere throughout the page.
To appear in the videos section of SERPs, learn how to optimize your YouTube videos.Knowledge Panels
Knowledge panels are automatically generated boxes of useful information, compiled from various sources around the internet by the Knowledge Graph. They generally appear on the right side of search results.
In the following SERP for [tennis], Google displays a knowledge panel with a summary of what tennis is and the most popular searches related to it.
Google offers specific directions on how to update the information contained in the Knowledge Graph.Local Packs
When there are local results that match your search query, you may see them appear in a local pack.
Listings in a local pack typically appear with reviews, an address, and hours of operation.
According to the Local Pack-O-Meter, 35.7% of approximately 60 million search queries in the U.S. contained a local pack in March of 2023.
Over the past year, it has fluctuated from 33% to 33.9%.
If you have a local business, learn more about local SEO and why it matters for your SMB.Featured Snippets
Featured snippets generally appear at the top of SERPs, offering a portion of content from one of the top organic search results for a particular query.
For example, a search for [how to change app icons] may generate a featured snippet with a video from YouTube that answers the query.
Featured snippets are typically labeled as such in the lower right corner beneath the snippet content.
Other formats of featured snippets include numbered or bulleted lists, like the results of [how to submit a book to a publisher].
In the above example, you can see that featured snippets sometimes fall below Google Ads for certain search queries.
In a search for [nft], the top result is a featured snippet in paragraph form.
In this search for the best list of restaurants from a specific source, the result is a featured snippet in a table format.
If you want your website to be the source of a featured snippet, follow this 12-step guide to optimizing your content for featured snippets.Google Ads Shopping Ads Carousels
Carousels generally appear at the top of SERPs, offering fast answers to the search query.
For example, a search for [dog breeds] results in a carousel of images with the most popular dog breeds that other Google users search for.Instant Answers
Instant Answers is a search feature Google uses to display answers to a search user’s query at the top of the SERP.
For example, if you search for today’s temperature, you may get the following for your location.
If you are searching for showtimes for a specific movie, Google may display showtimes from the theaters closest to you.
If you need to convert currency at the current exchange rate, Google may be able to provide the answer in the SERP.
Scheduling a meeting across time zones? Google may calculate the difference between two locations as well as show the current times in both.
Not sure what a word means? Google may give you the definition, along with the origin and overall use over time.
Need help solving a math problem? Google may display the answer along with a fully functional calculator.
Google may also provide instant answers at the top of SERPs for the following types of queries.
Translating a word or phrase.
Calculating the number of days until a specific date or upcoming holiday.
Finding out the score of a recent sports game.
Determining the age of someone based on their birthdate.
Getting the dates to popular events, like conventions and festivals.
Seeing the current share price and market summary for popular stocks.Top Stories
If a search query has related news stories, Google may display a section of top stories from media outlets.
Learn how to optimize your content for Google News so that your articles can appear in the top stories for related search queries.Tweets
A small percentage of SERPs will feature tweets relevant to the search query.
In the following search for Search Engine Journal, after the first organic search result and a people also ask section, the latest tweets from our official Twitter account appear.
Find out how you can use Twitter to increase your visibility in search results.Apps
Google search users on mobile devices may see features that are only available on mobile.Product Comparisons
Google has the ability to take product information and display it in search results for users looking to compare products.
In the following search for [iphone 12 vs iphone 12 pro], you can see a side-by-side list of the product images, reviews, price, and additional details.Top Products
In the following search for mirrorless cameras, Google displays the top mirrorless cameras after organic search results and a People Also Ask section.
Google displays reviews from third-party sites, prices from multiple retailers, top insights from media outlets, and reviews from multiple retailers.Jobs
Google helps job seekers by aggregating jobs from various sources across the web and displaying them within SERPs for queries like [jobs near me].
Learn how to optimize your job postings to ensure they get noticed by Google.Conclusion
Google continues to update its algorithm and search features to create a better experience for search users.
Always be on the lookout for new features appearing in SERPs for your targeted search queries.
Then, discover ways to optimize your webpages to appear in search features that will draw more attention to your brand in SERPs.
You're reading What’s In A Serp? Google Search Results & Features You Need To Know
Google is officially rolling out timestamps for YouTube videos in search results – a feature that was spotted in testing earlier this year.
This feature is designed to help people when the content they’re searching for is contained within a video.
It could be useful, for example, when searching for things like how-to videos with multiple steps, long speeches, or documentaries.
Google will now show you what’s ‘in this video’ along with timestamps for jumping directly to the part you care about.
In an announcement, the company states:
“But what if what you’re searching for is inside a video? Videos aren’t skimmable like text, meaning it can be easy to overlook video content altogether.
Now, just like we’ve worked to make other types of information more easily accessible, we’re developing new ways to understand and organize video content in Search to make it more useful for you.”
This feature is rolling out starting today. However, Google can only do so much on its own. Similar to displaying featured snippets in search results, this feature requires the assistance of content creators.How to Mark Up YouTube Videos for Search Results
Google will only display timestamps for videos when they’re provided by the content creator in the video description. That’s as simple as adding text like this in the description section:
00:10 – Intro
02:30 – Step 1
03:15 – Step 2
04:40 – Step 3
05:15 – Conclusion
There’s no technical coding required to add timestamps – simply type out the time in plain text.
It gets more technical when it comes to marking up non-YouTube videos, although Google has introduced a solution for that as well.
If you’re interested in marking up non-YouTube videos for search results then Google invites you to fill out this form.
1. Go to Google Advanced Images search and configure the settings you want for your images, but leave the search term (the whole section under “Find images with…”) blank . For this example, I have selected “Larger than 800×600” for Image size and “free to use or share” for usage rights.
Alternatively, you can create a custom search engine in Chrome.
That’s it. You can now search directly from the omnibar with the “images” keyword.
Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox
Sign up for all newsletters.
Google has announced a new Rich Result that corresponds to home activity events. Home Activities rich results correspond to online events. Google will show Home Activities rich results when an appropriate search query triggers it.Home Activities Rich Results
The new rich results are currently limited to fitness related searches. It’s only available on mobile devices at this time.
In order to be eligible for home activities, websites must add either Event or Video structured data.
Event structured data is appropriate for online events that are going to happen. Video structured data is appropriate for published videos.
According to the announcement:
Events must be virtual events, not physical events. In the Event structured data, make sure to:
Set eventAttendanceMode to OnlineEventAttendanceMode.
Use the VirtualLocation type for the location property.
Add the chúng tôi property.
Specify the correct timezone. Because there’s no physical location to verify the correct time, setting the right timezone is critical for online events.
For videos, focus on adding the description and duration properties, as these help Google understand what the video is about.
If your video is an upcoming live stream you can add both types of markup (Video and Event), but you don’t have to.
However, if you use Video markup for the live stream, we recommended adding the BroadcastEvent properties and following the LIVE badge guidelines.Mark Events as Online Only
The events structured data is relevant to actual in-person events as well as virtual events. Because of Covid-19 and how users are consuming more video events from home, there are additional properties and types that need to be used.
Event organizers have to use the VirtualLocation type and also set the eventAttendanceMode property to OnlineEventAttendanceMode.LIVE Badge Guidelines
Required properties are:
publication (date of live stream)
publication.startDateHome Activities Rich Results
Google is currently showing these rich results for fitness related activities only. The examples of search queries that trigger these rich results on a mobile device are “online exercise” and “yoga at home.”
Where these results are shown depends on the time zone indicated in the structured data.
Google did not indicate if they were going to expand this to other kinds of home activities beyond fitness.
This may be helpful for local gyms, martial arts schools, yoga studios, dance classes and any other fitness related online activities.Citations
Read the official announcement here: Home Activities
Events Structured Data Requirements
You can’t throw a stone in SEO without hitting a link builder.
Since Google’s earliest days, links are – and have always been – an integral part of search optimization.
But what about outbound links?
These are the links in your content (the source) that point to a different website (the target).
But are outbound links actually a ranking factor?The Claim: Outbound Links As A Ranking Factor
Google sees links from one site to another as a sort of endorsement.
When one site cites another via a link, there’s a fairly good possibility that they’re doing so because they believe the content they’re linking to is reputable, authoritative, and trustworthy.
Is that always the case? No.
As long as there have been search engines and links, marketers have been trying to find ways to manipulate Google’s perception of what a link actually means.
We know that when a site links to you, it can help improve your search rankings.
But what about when you link to another website – can that help your site rank higher, too?
The SEO industry has never entirely come to a consensus on whether outbound links are a direct ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.
Many believe outbound links aren’t a ranking factor at all and have no SEO benefit to the linking party (the source).
However, some believe that who you link to is a signal that can help your own rankings, as well as the page that earned your link.The Evidence For Outbound Links As A Ranking Factor
Google’s John Mueller addressed that very question in the inaugural Ask Google Webmasters video in July 2023. He said:
“Linking to other websites is a great way to provide value to your users. Oftentimes, links help users to find out more, to check out your sources, and to better understand how your content is relevant to the questions that they have.”
In the same video, Mueller cautions that the reasoning behind the link matters – and Google is pretty good at sniffing out bad links.
See Julie Joyce’s guide, When to Use Nofollow on Links & When Not To, for more on that.
In short, Google wants to see outbound links that indicate you think the page you’re linking to is a great match for users.
So, we know that user experience and the value provided to searchers/site visitors is Google’s top priority.
As Mueller said, outbound links are a great way to provide value to users.
Plus, we have a bunch of other SEO pros and blogs saying things like:
“…valuable outbound authority links are part of what Google likes to see as part of its recent Google Panda update.”
“By adhering to some of the following best practices when optimizing outbound links – you could be seeing an effect on your visibility and ranking.”
Some even quantify what you need to do for outbound links to “work” and recommend including at least two or three per piece of content.
(I’m not linking to those sources as I don’t want to lend them our credibility. See how that works? Suggesting in 2023 that a certain density of outbound links is SEO magic makes about as much sense as optimizing for a keyword density of 7%.)
Aside from the industry chatter, Shai Aharony at Reboot did a small experiment in 2024 in which his team created 10 brand new sites with articles “of comparable structures and text length” to test whether outbound links influenced ranking.
The study got a bit of attention following an endorsement from Rand Fishkin, who said,
“This study of outgoing links impacting rankings is as close to ‘proof’ as we get in the SEO world…”
Half the sites contained three links – one each to Oxford University, Cambridge University, and the Genome Research Institute. Two used the name of the institution as anchor text; the anchor text for the third was the completely made-up test subject word “phylandocic.”
Another made-up control word, “ancludixis,” was placed in the content unlinked so they could determine whether the anchor text was a factor in ranking. All domains were purchased at the same time, and none were optimized for “phylandocic.”
The study declares:
“The results are clear. Outgoing relevant links to authoritative sites are considered in the algorithms and do have a positive impact on rankings.”
The analysis goes on to say:
“The main thing to take away from this test is that although we don’t know and have not proved how powerful outgoing links are in the grand scheme of things, we have proved they do have a positive impact if used correctly.”
However, this evidence is not exactly convincing.
Here’s what we see in the results. The author notes that the graph shows the position of the sites in the ranking.
Blue line = site with an outgoing link.
Orange line = site without outgoing links.
As you can see, the sites with the outbound links ranked in the top five Google results and those without in the next five.
Without seeing the content itself, it’s impossible to know whether there are other factors at work.
But we do know that the made-up target keyword, “phylandocic” was used as anchor text once in at least each article. Did it increase rankings because it was anchor text, or simply because the word appeared on the page?
This test is simply too small. The fact that there’s no other content in Google’s index about this made-up word pretty much ensures you’re going to get the top 10 results with 10 articles.
All other things being equal – and it does seem they took steps to make all other things as equal as possible – this could just be a matter of the additional keyword mention making those articles more relevant to the query.
So does this actually prove anything about the value of outbound links as a direct ranking signal? No.The Evidence Against Outbound Links As A Ranking Factor
Outbound links can tell Google a lot of positive things about the site the link is pointing to – that it’s considered authoritative and trustworthy, for example.
Or that the person who created the content is an expert in the field.
That’s exactly what Google wants to see in the content it recommends as answers to searchers, and they tell us that throughout Google’s Search Quality Raters guidelines.
Get your free SEJ Guide to Google E-A-T & SEO to learn more about that.
But Google also has to consider that there are a lot of ways links can be manipulated. They’re a commodity that can be bought and sold.
People can exchange links for other links or for anything of value to the parties involved – for a free product or discount on services, for example.
Links can even be placed on a website without the owner/webmaster’s knowledge via code or URL injection.
There are a lot of different ways links can be gamed. Outbound links, in particular, are troublesome as a search signal.
Couldn’t I just link to a bunch of highly authoritative, popular sites in my niche and that tells Google I’m one of the cool kids, too?
At one point, you could. This PageRank sculpting blog post by Matt Cutts resurfaced in a 2023 Twitter conversation about the benefit of linking to authoritative content.
A user asked Mueller whether the conclusion made in a graphic that cited “multiple SEO experiments and studies” was true.
Despite the fine print making it clear that the studies found correlation and not causation, the piece made a bold statement. And Mueller was clear in his response:
— 🐄 John 🐄 (@JohnMu) December 29, 2023
Here’s where the aforementioned PageRank sculpting post comes in:
— Corey Northcutt (@corey_northcutt) December 30, 2023
But here’s the thing – that Cutts post is from 2009.
The issue came up in 2024 when Mueller responded to a Webmaster Central viewer question about any potential benefits of linking to one’s trade association websites:
And again in a 2024 video where Mueller was asked:
“External links from your pages to other sites – is that a ranking factor? What if they’re nofollow?”
“From our point of view, external links to other sites – so links from your site to other people’s sites – isn’t specifically a ranking factor.
But it can bring value to your content and, in turn, can be relevant for us in search. Whether or not they’re nofollow doesn’t really matter to us.”
I’d think of linking as just part of proper attribution. You’re a journalist. You write a story, you cite your sources. If those sources are online with more info for the reader, that cite should link to them. That’s just good journalism. It should be standard….
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) October 16, 2023
And this is where outbound links really shine.
Used appropriately, outbound links can tell Google things like:
You’re aware of which people and websites in your industry are considered authoritative and trustworthy because you’re an active member of the community.
You’ve done your homework and invested time in truly understanding the topic.
You value multiple perspectives and are doing your best to present fair, balanced information to readers.
You care about accuracy and it’s important to you that the information you reshare has been fact-checked.
You value readers’ trust and want to ensure they can verify your statements if they choose.
These are all quality indicators that can help Google understand how accurate, relevant, and authoritative that piece of content is.
But are the links themselves a ranking signal?Outbound Links as a Ranking Factor: Our Verdict
Here’s what we know:
The presence of outbound links, or lack thereof, on its own is not a ranking factor.
The words in outbound link anchor text are used to help Google understand the source page’s content – just like every other word on the page. They are no more or less valuable.
Linking to high authority sites is not an indicator of the source page’s authority because it’s just too easy to game.
Your best strategy is to use outbound links in the way Google intends them to be used – to cite sources, to improve user experience, and as endorsements of high-quality content.
Trying to use them to whisper at Google about your authority or relevance could backfire.
Overusing outbound links looks spammy in the same way overusing any other optimization looks spammy, and it could lead Google to ignore the page entirely.
Outbound links may have been a ranking signal in the early 2000s. However, Google has so many more reliable, less noisy signals to consider today.
Featured Image: Paolo Bobita/Search Engine Journal
There is one report in Google Search Console that’s both insanely useful and quite hard to find, especially if you’re just starting your SEO journey.
It’s one of the most powerful tools for every SEO professional, even though you can’t even access it from within Google Search Console’s main interface.
I’m talking about the Crawl stats report.How Is Your Website Crawled?
Crawl budget (the number of pages Googlebot can and wants to crawl) is essential for SEO, especially for large websites.
If you have issues with your website’s crawl budget, Google may not index some of your valuable pages.
And as the saying goes, if Google didn’t index something, then it doesn’t exist.
Google Search Console can show you how many pages on your site are visited by Googlebot every day.
Armed with this knowledge, you can find anomalies that may be causing your SEO issues.Diving Into Your Crawl Stats: 5 Key Insights
Here are all of the data dimensions you can inspect inside the Crawl stats report:1. Host
Using the Crawl stats report, you can easily see the crawl stats related to each subdomain of your website.
Unfortunately, this method doesn’t currently work with subfolders.2. HTTP Status
One other use case for the Crawl stats report is looking at the status codes of crawled URLs.
That’s because you don’t want Googlebot to spend resources crawling pages that aren’t HTTP 200 OK. It’s a waste of your crawl budget.
In this particular case, 16% of all requests were made for redirected pages.
If you see statistics like these, I recommend further investigating and looking for redirect hops and other potential issues.
In my opinion, one of the worst cases you can see here is a large amount of 5xx errors.
To quote Google’s documentation: “If the site slows down or responds with server errors, the limit goes down and Googlebot crawls less.”
If you’re interested in this topic, Roger Montti wrote a detailed article on 5xx errors in Google Search Console.3. Purpose
The Crawl stats report breaks down the crawling purpose into two categories:
URLs crawled for Refresh purposes (a recrawl of already known pages, e.g., Googlebot is visiting your homepage to discover new links and content).
URLs crawled for Discovery purposes (URLs that were crawled for the first time).
This breakdown is insanely useful, and here’s an example:
I recently encountered a website with ~1 million pages classified as “Discovered – currently not indexed.”
This issue was reported for 90% of all the pages on that site.
(If you’re not familiar with it, “Discovered but not index” means that Google discovered a given page but didn’t visit it. If you discovered a new restaurant in your town but didn’t give it a try, for example.)
One of the options was to wait, hoping for Google to index these pages gradually.
Another option was to look at the data and diagnose the issue.
It turned out that, on average, Google was visiting only 7460 pages on that website per day.
But here’s something even more important.
Thanks to the Crawl stats report, I found out that only 35% of these 7460 URLs were crawled for discovery reasons.
That’s just 2611 new pages discovered by Google per day.
2611 out of over a million.
It would take 382 days for Google to fully index the whole website at that pace.
Finding this out was a gamechanger. All other search optimizations were postponed as we fully focused on crawl budget optimization.4. File Type
If your site is packed with images and image search is crucial for your SEO strategy, this report will help a lot as well – you can see how well Googlebot can crawl your images.5. Googlebot Type
Finally, the Crawl stats report gives you a detailed breakdown of the Googlebot type used to crawl your site.
You can find out the percentage of requests made by either Mobile or Desktop Googlebot and Image, Video, and Ads bots.Other Useful Information
It’s worth noting that the Crawl stats report has invaluable information that you won’t find in your server logs:
Host issues such as problems fetching the chúng tôi file.Using Crawl Stats in the URL Inspection Tool
You can also access some granular crawl data outside of the Crawl stats report, in the URL Inspection Tool.
I recently worked with a large ecommerce website and, after some initial analyses, noticed two pressing issues:
Many product pages weren’t indexed in Google.
There was no internal linking between products. The only way for Google to discover new content was through sitemaps and paginated category pages.
A natural next step was to access server logs and check if Google had crawled the paginated category pages.
But getting access to server logs is often really difficult, especially when you’re working with a large organization.
Google Search Console’s Crawl stats report came to the rescue.
Let me guide you through the process I used and that you can use if you’re struggling with a similar issue:
1. First, look up a URL in the URL Inspection Tool. I chose one of the paginated pages from one of the main categories of the site.
In this case, the URL was last crawled three months ago.
Keep in mind that this was one of the main category pages of the website that hadn’t been crawled for over three months!
I went deeper and checked a sample of other category pages.
It turned out that Googlebot never visited many main category pages. Many of them are still unknown to Google.
I don’t think I need to explain how crucial it is to have that information when you’re working on improving any website’s visibility.
The Crawl stats report allows you to look things like this up within minutes.Wrapping Up
As you can see, the Crawl stats report is a powerful SEO tool even though you could use Google Search Console for years without ever finding it.
It will help you diagnose indexing issues and optimize your crawl budget so that Google can find and index your valuable content quickly, which is particularly important for large sites.
I gave you a couple of use cases to think of, but now the ball is in your court.
How will you use this data to improve your site’s visibility?
All screenshots taken by author, April 2023
Update the detailed information about What’s In A Serp? Google Search Results & Features You Need To Know on the Bellydancehcm.com website. We hope the article's content will meet your needs, and we will regularly update the information to provide you with the fastest and most accurate information. Have a great day!