What are Google SERP features in 2020?

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Do you want to get the ranking of your website to the top of the google search engine results page? Then, this article is just what you need to get started!

What is SERP?

SERP (Search Engine Results Page) refers to a series of responses to a query by a user. This response is in the form of search results on a page. A Google SERP is the results of a search term on Google. They provide more information than the ordinary results shown on the page. 

What are SERP features?

The SERP features in any browser also come in handy when you are looking for keywords under a specific category. It helps to simplify the task of perusing the results to improve the visibility of a service-oriented website amongst tons of competitors.

What is a SERP in Google?

In the past, the Google SERPs consisted of results which consisted of links to the most relevant results based on a strict algorithm. However, in 2020, Google SERPs make searching for information on the browser more informative and less inconvenient than it used to be. Some of the results displayed might be in the form of advertisements and other results like maps. Also, the results are in order of their relevance to the search term. 

Why is SERP important?

The main aim of online marketing is to rise from the multitude and stand out. To this effect, the Google SERP features have been playing a huge role. Unlike before, the sites with organic results occupied the top spots, making it difficult for other sites to climb up. But with the new Google SERP feature introduced in 2020, the task of climbing to the top spot has become more attainable.

Furthermore, Google SERP features’ primary focus is on making the user experience on the search engine a delight. The Google AI achieves this by providing them with the most fitting answers to the questions they pose.

Therefore, if the goals of the website are in alignment with the Google algorithm, then there is a high probability of climbing to the upper echelons of internet relevancy. 

It is easy to boost your SERP rankings and here are some of the Google SERP features that are important based on the categories into which they fit:

Advertising SERP Features

Advertising on Google has become more convenient with the use of Google SERP features. These features take note of factors like season, level of competition, and time of day to display the appropriate results. Some of the most common advertising SERP features include:

AdWords

Top: These are advertisements that appear at the top of the Google search engine research page. Some of these ads will take the form of text ads or Shopping Results. Some of the information you can find in this box include the name of the retailer and the pricing.

To optimize this feature, the rank of the website needs to be high (#1 ranking). The ranking of a website comes from a combination of factors that include quality scores and the click-through rate (CTR) of the advertisement.

Bottom: The same algorithm controls the placement of this ad as with AdWords (top). The only difference is that it appears on the bottom part of the Google SERP.

To optimize this feature, elements like the description of the product and the headline need to change.

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Shopping Results

This Google SERP feature displays the Paid Shopping results, which sell products with necessary information like the price, review, and image of the products.

This feature is a paid version of AdWords and, as such, has the same optimization technique.

Vertical search results SERP features

These features are at the top of the search engine result page. They focus mostly on results that relate to media content.

Image Pack

This SERP feature is an image carousel that shows up according to the input search keyword.

This image carousel appears just above the top results on the Google search engine result page.

If you want to optimize the Image Pack, the image file name should be the same as the keyword. Also, the alt-text and image caption should contain the keyword.

Top Stories

In the latest adjustments to Google SERPs, Top Stories have replaced the News Box. This feature displays recent information and trending events. The contents of Top Stories come from Google News articles

If a website has the format of a publication, the use of this SERP feature will make your content rank amongst the top sites. By following the guidelines and procedures from Google, a publication can boost the position of its content.

Tweet

A carousel of tweets from a given Twitter user is part of a Google search engine result page when the keyword contains the twitter with users’ info.

To optimize this feature, the twitter feed needs to be up-to-date. The algorithm from Google then goes through the trending tweets associated with the search keyword and brings them up as the results.

Knowledge Graph

This SERP feature is useful for searches involving specific individuals and establishments. By going through multiple sources of information, the search engine gathers relevant information and presents them in a concise form in this box.

This feature is on the right side of the page. It also contains a short description, often followed by a link to the Wikipedia page. Also, you can find a carousel containing “People also search for” with similar results to the keyword.

Since most of the information for this Google SERP feature comes from Wikipedia, it makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to optimize.

Knowledge Card

When your search has to do with data, the Google SERP comes up with a Knowledge Card. The data comes from editors or companies partner with Google such as Professional Writing Service and not just individuals. This box also has an “Explore more” tab, which provides more information and a link to the full article.

Knowledge Panel

A knowledge panel is usually on the right-hand side of the page (on a desktop version of the browser) just beside the organic search results.

For your page to appear on the knowledge panel, the site administrator has to be officially approved by Google. As a result, this feature is not available for most websites except those with Google My Business Listings or Google Maps.

The most effective way to optimize a Knowledge Panel is by updating your Google My Business profile.

Direct Answer

This Google SERP feature displays answers to direct general knowledge questions like “How hot is the sun?”. This feature often comes without a link to a source because they contain statements of facts that everyone knows or accepts as facts.

You cannot optimize this feature because it doesn’t make use of indirect links. This SERP feature is one of the least useful in terms of SEO.

Local SERP Features

These SERP features focus on locations of establishments or businesses.

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Local Pack

This feature is a Google SERP feature that makes use of an algorithm that detects keywords or search terms aimed at finding a location. This feature is a part of the search engine result page, which displays the location similar to the search keyword. As a response to the query, the browser will provide 2-3 locations that best fit the search term on a map. Below the box is another tab for ‘More places’ in case the location you are looking for is not in the first three positions. This Google SERP feature is also available on mobile and tablets.

If you have a business that has a physical location, the use of Local SEO will help in increasing your visibility online. The Google SERP algorithm takes into account the relevance, proximity, and the popularity of the locations. When optimizing, the complete information regarding the business has to be up-to-date. External reviews by other websites can help boost the relevance of the place.

Local Knowledge Pack

In contrast to the Local Pack on most Google SERPs, this feature focuses on a particular business rather than a list of related establishments.

This box stands on the right-hand side of the Google search result pages. On this page, one can find the location of the establishment as well as other vital information, like the opening hours and reviews. This feature offers a quick overview of your website.

Since Local Knowledge Pack caters to only one establishment, there is no need to optimize for proximity. Instead, updating your Google My Business profile will help out a lot.

Local Teaser Pack

This Google SERP feature has a lot of similarities with the Local Pack SERP feature. But apart from just showing the locations on the map and directions, they also display other essential information that might be of use to the user. This SERP feature displays the rating, location, working hours, and the availability of the location within a specified time.

To obtain this SERP feature, you need to follow the same optimization procedures involved with the Local SEO. 

Other SERP features

Other miscellaneous Google SERP features that are useful for improving the responses to the queries from users. Some of them are:

 Featured Snippet

This feature appears in some Google SERPs which originate from question-based search terms. This snippet shows the contents of the page with the highest-ranking without making the user visit the page directly.

The location of the Featured Snippet is at the top of the page right below the search bar. It also contains a direct link to the website with detailed responses to the query.

If you want to increase a website’s ranking, you should use question words as part of the keyword (what, why, who, when, and how). Also, adding unordered or ordered lists as part of the post on the page increases the chances of the content moving up in ranking based on the algorithm. Pay close attention to the content to ensure that they are directly answering the question in the keyword.

Related Questions

Through the use of an algorithm, the browser generates questions which relate to the terms entered into the search bar. These similar questions then come up on the screen as a card, which one can find on any part of the page.

There is a correlation between the winner of the Featured Snippet and the Related Question feature. The winner of one also wins the other. Therefore, Featured Snippets are useful for finding Related Questions keyword opportunities. Also, Related Questions can boost the CTR of a website because it brings the link to the fore.

This SERP feature is famous as the “People also ask” box.

Reviews

If you have a website that offers a service that requires ratings and reviews, this Google SERP feature will be of great benefit to you. Reviews offer this service for sites of users who offer such services. Sometimes, the rating comes from the average ranking of the users of the service.

Data containing the information about the ratings are between the destination URL and snippet on a Google SERP.

To optimize this feature, use the services of external review websites like Yelp and even Facebook. This practice helps improve the profile of the website/brand.

Site Links

Site links are useful Google SERP features for websites providing a service. Site links are extra ten links you can find when you search for a specific business or establishment. This positioning gives immediate access to specific portions of the website to the users.

To optimize it, Google has to select the website using schema markup. The presence of this markup does not guarantee the appearance of Site Links as part of the Google search engine result page.

Conclusion

The importance of learning the principles behind the functioning of Google search engine result pages comes in handy when you are developing or optimizing a website. By getting to know the SERP features, the optimization of websites becomes a much easier task. Also, the knowledge of SERP features makes it possible to ascertain which of the features will maximize the ranking and general visibility of your website. The proper use of these will make your website stand out amongst the multitudes out there.

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