Links, features, boxes and so much more: a guide to today Google SERPs

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SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page: although there are billions of web pages online, none perhaps takes on more value for digital marketing and SEO than Google’s SERPs, the results page that the search engine offers in response to a user’s query. And while originally the SERP consisted only of the canonical 10 blue links, over time Google’s results page has been enriched to now display a plethora of boxes, features and various elements that have revolutionized its aesthetics and usability with a view to tailoring the SERP to the user’s true search intention, personalizing their experience to maximize their satisfaction.

What are SERPs

SERPs, the Search Engine Results Pages, are thus “simple” Web pages that each search engine provides in response to users who search for something online and generally enter their search query (often using specific terms and phrases known as keywords) in the appropriate box or browser bar (or voice commands, another growing trend).

Each SERP is unique and different: while it is quite intuitable that we will not get the same page if we launch an identical search on different search engines (because each search engine builds the SERP in its own way and evaluates the results according to its own criteria and algorithms), even if we do the same search (using the same keywords or queries) on one search engine we may notice variations, however slight. This is because virtually all search engines customize the experience for their users by presenting results based on a wide range of factors in addition to search terms, such as the user’s physical location, browsing history, and social settings, so as to offer their users a more intuitive and responsive experience.

In addition, the structural appearance of search engine results pages is also constantly changing due to experiments conducted by Google, Bing, and other search engines, often in the wake of emerging and rapidly developing technologies in this area, and thus the SERPs of today differ significantly in appearance from those of a few years (sometimes months) ago.

Why SERPs are important (and why it is important to know them)

Beyond the huge differences between search engines, almost all SERPs today offer (at least) two types of content: “organic” results and paid results.

The former are the result of organic search, and thus lists of web pages ranked on the basis of the criteria followed by the search engine’s algorithm: these are the links that are of interest to SEO activity, the classic positions for which you battle to the sound of optimization in search of visibility.

In contrast to organic links, paid results are shown when there actually has been a payment by an advertiser, who buys a space to disp