Search Engine Results Pages (also known as "SERPs" or "SERPs") are Google's responses to users' search queries. Search results pages tend to contain organic search results, paid Google ad results, featured snippets, knowledge graphs, and video results.
You type (or say) something on Google, and the search results page is what you get.
search engine results page
Although Google now has dozens of categories of search results on the first page, the two most important categories are paid search results and organic search results.
Search Engine Page Results: Organic and Paid Results
Paid results come from advertisers who bid on keywords through Google Ads. Although Google Ads take ad relevance into account, their ranking order is basically by bid.
Organic results are rankings "earned" through content and SEO, determined by Google's algorithm to be the best, most relevant results for a search query.
Why are SERPs important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
The search results page determines how your website appears on the Google homepage.
For example, let's say you rank your site on the first page of Google for the keyword "SEO job listings."
It's great to see your page appear above the fold of Google's search results.
SEO Job Listing Google Ranks #1
But what if your email list results page looks like this?
SERP features push top result below the fold
This means that even if you rank on the first page, you probably won't get many clicks.
If the SERPs for the keywords you’re competing for are basically 10 blue links, that means your organic results have a good chance of being clicked.
There is another important factor to keep in mind when evaluating SERPs: "no-click search".
According to Sparktoro, there are more "no-click searches" than ever before.
jumpshot - no click search
These no-click searches are primarily due to the nature of search results pages (especially featured snippets).
For example, let's say you search for "when did Google start".
You'll also click this is a results page to see the answers, which are listed on the first page.
That's why you want to optimize for SERP keywords that don't have many featured snippets. This way, your results will stand out and be clicked.
Here are some typical Google search engine results page categories:
organic search results
Organic results are determined by Google's sophisticated algorithm ( with over 200 ranking factors ).
Although Google's algorithms are top secret, they have publicly identified some key ranking factors, including:
Off-page SEO factors (referring to the number of websites linking to a particular page, also called " backlinks ")
On-page SEO optimization signals (keywords you use on your page)
website loading speed
Brand Image and Trust Signals
A standard organic search results snippet includes:
Page title (title tag)
Examples of Organic Results
Google sometimes adds features for specific organic snippets.
For example, if they thought a page's publication date was important, they would show it in the SERPs:
SERP showing release date
Or, for some results, they show "sitelinks" below the result.
SITELINKS points to a page, or to a related page on the same website.
Also, when using structured data on a page, Google sometimes uses review asterisks, images, and event information to turn ordinary results into "rich snippets."
Rich Snippet Data Taken From Page's HTML
Paid search results
There is a small "ad" icon in the upper left corner of the paid search results.