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SERP, or Search Engine Results Page, comprises two types of content: organic and paid. In simplified terms, Google offers SERP features to make the user’s search experience easier and more direct. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial to creating an eCommerce site that gets traffic. But keeping up with the latest changes to search engines is tough, especially when Google’s algorithm changes every day. Furthermore, in today’s digital environment, ranking #1 organically is not as effective as it used to be. SERP has improved the customer experience, but they have made the game complex for businesses. For this reason, marketers need to learn how to rank higher using the Google SERP tools now more than ever. Read this article to know how to keep up with the smartest SERP features in 2022. Happy reading!
Let’s understand SERP!
Search engines have evolved over the years and become smarter than ever. A few years back, if I searched ‘Burgers’ it would have been showing predictable results from Wikipedia pages, restaurant websites, review sites, or articles about the product.
Today, if I search ‘Burgers’, the following results are showing:

This SERP first displays a map with nearby Burger restaurants, followed by a nutritional card pulled from Wikipedia. All this content appears higher and more prominently than organic results, so even Burger King (one of the renowned burger companies worldwide), which ranks as the top organic result, is hidden below the SERP features.

Why should you give importance to SERP?

Simply put, Google is the king of all search engines, and the numbers don’t lie.

A Statista report shows that in December 2021, online search engine Bing held more than 7 percent of the global search market, while global market leader Google held 85.55 percent. In comparison, Yahoo had a market share of 2.85 percent.

What is more? Google is the most used search engine worldwide, especially in the U.S., U.K., and Germany. Except for China, other Asian countries also use Google most frequently. As a result, Google earned one of the highest tech company revenues in 2020 with roughly 181.69 billion U.S. dollars.

SERP Features

SERP features are constantly being added and improved by Google. Therefore, you have a variety of ways to get your business to the top of the SERPs today. Some of the critical SERP features are listed below.

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets refer to a snippet containing more information than a regular snippet. Rich snippets include a brief description, pictures, reviews, prices along with customer ratings. Those snippets can be easily recognized as organic search results that contain information beyond the page’s title, URL, and meta description. Site owners can use structured data markup in their HTML to assist search engines in comprehending and optimizing their pages for rich snippets.

Paid Results

Paid results are sponsored posts that appear at the top of the SERP. However, they are easily distinguishable with the ‘Ad’ level or within a separate area as Google differentiates them from the organic results, as shown above.

Local SERP

Local SERPs will surface when your search intent is implicitly related to location. For example, if your search keywords are “restaurants,” “gas station,” or the name of a specific store-bought product, Google will surface nearby locations that match your query and show you where they are on a map.

Knowledge Graph

Knowledge Graphs are found in the right-hand sidebar or above organic results. Images, information, maps, and related search subjects are frequently included. This SERP feature is often displayed when users search for specific topics, places, or people.
Google uses information from both internal sources such as Google Maps and external ones such as Wikipedia to generate Knowledge Graphs. The Knowledge Graph produced for the search query “Saudi Arabia” is below.

Universal Results

Google’s universal results are the answers from its other vertical columns, like Google Images and Google News, in the search results. Google’s featured snippets are one of the common examples of universal results that deliver answers in a box at the top of the page to help users.

People Also Asks

People also ask boxes containing questions about a specific topic to help users venture further. These results are prevalent and are often shown when a search query is a direct question.

Vertical Search

Google pulls information from many categories in vertical searches, such as images, videos, or news. Inquiries related to topics or locations typically display this SERP feature. When searching “New York,” Google returns a vertical search featuring “Things to do in New York:”

Besides the aforementioned SERP features, several others like Knowledge Graph Data, Paragraph Featured Snippets, Numbered List Featured Snippets, Top Stories, Twitter, Sitelinks, and Videos are also available.

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