SERP stands for ‘search engine results page’. The SERPs are the pages of search results that search engines display when someone does an internet search. The items displayed on the SERPs vary and may include organic search results and paid search results (paid ads). For many searches, most of the items that appear in the SERPs are webpages or blog posts, however, other content is being shown more often (and certain searches will yield more of the other types of content). For instance, SERPs can show videos, podcasts, images and social media posts and if you search for something that’s particularly visual, you will likely see more image and video content in your search results.
You can continue learning about the SERPs by listening to the audio, or you can read the rest of this blog post.
Most of the time, searchers find the answer to their question or the content they’re looking for on the first SERP. They might click on one or more listings displayed on the first SERP so they can view the full piece of content. Or they might find what they’re searching for in the listing itself. In fact, more than half of all Google searches now result in zero clicks, meaning that the searcher found what they wanted in the search results themselves. (Occasionally a zero-click search happens when the searcher didn’t get the kind of results they expected and they might change to a different query. But this is becoming less common as search engine algorithms improve and computer literacy increases.)
Zero-click searches are common when a featured snippet is displayed. And as Google rolls out new features, they’re becoming increasingly common for other types of search results as well. For instance, in May 2019, Google started rolling out a new podcast-related search feature that they announced at I/O 2019. If there’s a podcast episode that’s relevant to your search query, you can now play the episode directly from the search result.
This all means that very few searchers scroll through to the second or subsequent SERPs, let alone click through to any of the pieces of content displayed in the second or subsequent SERPs.
As such, optimising content so it’s more likely to appear at the top of the first page of the SERPs for important keywords, is an important part of creating successful content. The practice and process of optimising content for this purpose are both called search engine optimisation or SEO.