A SERP feature is any result on the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that isn’t a traditional organic search result. They sometimes come in the form of large widgets, which can be worth aiming for since they take up a considerable amount of SERP real estate.
Bruno shows SERP feature icons to indicate which features you can expect to find on the keyword’s SERP. The filled-in icons reveal which ones you occupy.
Some of the most common SERP features include:
- Google Ads
- Featured Snippet
- People Also Ask
- Image Pack
- Local Pack
- Knowledge Panels
- Rich Snippets
Google Ads show up on the top and bottom of the SERP for certain keywords. These are often going to be keywords or queries that suggest a buying intent because those are the ones appealing to advertisers.
A Featured Snippet is a short excerpt hand-picked by Google to appear directly on the SERP. The text that is featured most likely contains the most relevant answer for the input search query.
People Also Ask is a section dedicated to questions and answers that are related to the input search query. These are automatically generated by Google.
An Image Pack is a collection of images displayed at the top of the SERP. It is like a tiny portal leading to Google images. Image packs show up on keywords where the user presumably wants image results. Sometimes this fact is obvious from the search query. Other times Google has tried different SERP arrangements and found that an Image Pack best satisfies the searcher’s demand.
Videos sometimes show up on SERPs when there is reason for Google to assume the searcher is looking for video results. Searching for “iMovie tutorial”, for instance, will most likely result in a Videos SERP Feature.
A Local Pack is a widget that presents the searcher with three local places or businesses that might interest them. A search query like “coffee shops” is going to bring up three nearby coffee shops with the highest potential of satisfying the searcher’s needs. Information about the coffee shops is obtained from the Google My Business directory. Inputting “Dog Parks Manhattan” will generate three results with dog parks located in Manhattan, New York. The results are in this case based on information from Google Maps.
Knowledge Panels are widgets that display information about a specific entity, such as a person, company, or band. As opposed to Featured Snippets, the information is generated from structured data stored in Google’s Knowledge Graph. It is also possible for Google users to give feedback and suggest changes to the information presented. Google Business Profiles sometimes look similar to Knowledge Panels, although they are not the same. It is up to the business entities themselves to change and update the information in their Business Profiles.
Rich Snippets look like traditional organic search results with a little bit of added information. The actual information displayed only differs slightly but nevertheless results in a higher CTR, generally speaking. This is because the Rich Snippets take up a tad more space and tend to be more eye-catching. Use schema markup to qualify for Rich Snippets.
Sitelinks are the small links that sometimes can be seen below traditional search results. They are there to facilitate finding the right subpage on the domain. For that reason, they often appear on branded searches.