SEO Made Simple: The Complete List of All SERP Elements

We all make countless searches on the internet every day. Most of these searches are done on Google. In fact, more than 70,000 searches are made on Google per second. Phew, that’s a lot, right?

But how many of us really know about all the elements that show up in a search results page on Google? Being a search engine optimization company, we couldn’t help but dig into this topic. Allow us to share with you the results you can expect on your next Google search.

All the elements of a SERP can be divided into 5 major types. They are:

  1. Organic results
  2. Sponsored/Ads
  3. Snippets
  4. Knowledge Graph Box
  5. Local Listings

Each type has a number of elements within it. Let’s take a detailed look at each one of them.

A. Organic Results

There are several types of organic search results in a Google SERP. Some of them are visuals and some are links to other sites. Here are the most common ones:

  1. Regular Organic Site Results
  2. Images
  3. Videos
  4. News
  5. Social Listings

Let’s study them in detail.

1. Regular Organic Site Results


This is the most basic element of Google search pages that has been showing up since years and continues to do so. The pages at the top of the organic listings are the results of good old SEO. Good quality SEO helps Google guess the best possible solutions to the search queries. The ranking of various websites depends on many factors from its algorithm.

2. Images


Google Images is an image-based search service that also allows reverse image search. Whenever you post a photo to a social media platform or website, with the privacy setting as ‘Public’, it can appear on the image search engine results page once it is indexed. When you search something on Google and there are many images related to it available at Google Images, you’ll be able to see an image box which will lead you directly to the image search.

3. Videos


Videos, mostly from YouTube and other similar sites, are shown when you are searching for something. Search queries such as songs, recipes and craft DIYs are most likely to get a video listing. These listings are in a certain format: a brief description, the duration of the clip, the channel’s or contributor’s name, the name of the video, a thumbnail, etc. A good Search Engine Optimization Company will help you use keywords so that your video can be ranked at the top without having to pay for it.

4. News


When you search for a topic on Google and it is in the news currently, then a ‘News Box’ appears with all the latest news articles on that topic. It has the option to view more similar results for the same result. When you click on that, you are redirected to the Google News section. There, all you can see are the results for the topic from various news sources.

5. Social Listings


When you search for a brand or popular celebrity, chances are that you may be shown their recent tweets. The social listings box shows the account’s name and username with the bio and other details. Along with this, you can also go through recent tweets without leaving Google. This is a great example that shows a variety of different types of Google search engine results pages.

B. Ad Results

People and companies pay Google to show their advertisements on the search results pages in various. You can see a plethora of advertisements on Google, they are as follows:

  1. AdWords Ads
  2. Sponsored Products
  3. Hotel Ads
  4. Google Flights

Let’s discuss them in detail.

1. AdWords Ads


AdWords ads can come up as blocks of sponsored content either before or after the organic results – or both. They appear on all the search engine result pages of Google and for almost every type of query. Mostly all affordable search engine optimization packages include this option in India.

2. Sponsored Products


If you are searching for a particular product, for example – shampoo, then you’ll see ads for sponsored products by various e-commerce sites. They usually appear on the top of the search results page or on the right side. Each product has the selling price, reviews, and ratings and a thumbnail image along with the product name displayed.

3. Hotel Ads


When you are searching for hotels or about a particular city, then Google sometimes puts ads for hotels and various sites which you can use to book a room. You can set the check-in and check-out dates set a budget range and view the room tariff as well as the location of the hotel from Google Maps through this feature. It helps to compare the rates of rooms across multiple hotels through multiple online travel companies.

4. Google Flights


Google took over the ITA software and launched Google Flights, where people can search for and compare flights easily. When you search for flights or the route from one place to another, Google often shows you a box for Google Flights. Through this box, you can look for flights for your destination and compare them. Many of the listings are sponsored by various airlines or online travel agencies.

C. Snippets

Snippets are short segments of text that are displayed in the organic search engine results along with the link and heading of that page. Since snippets are so prominently displayed, they are very useful for generating leads.

You can hire SEO expert in India and they’ll be able to guide you on how to write your content in such a way that it appears as a snippet.

There are various types of snippets listed in a Google search results page. They are:

  1. Rich Snippets
  2. Featured Snippets Box
  3. Answer Box
  4. Meanings
  5. Travel Box

1. Rich Snippets


Rich Snippets tend to include a little more detail than the regular snippets. For example, if you search for a recipe for Arrabiata pasta, you might be able to see the ingredients used in the recipe, the amount of time it’ll take for you to cook that dish and ratings of other people for that recipe.

2. Featured Snippets Box


When you search for a particular answer and Google finds text that it thinks is best suited for your query, that text is highlighted at the top of the search results page in a box. It is called featured box snippet and it usually appears in a text form or as bullet points along with the link to the page where the text is sourced from.

3. Answer Box


If you search a question on Google, then you might see a box that has similar questions listed. When you click on one of the questions, it’ll show you a snippet of the answer to that question on some website, Quora or a forum, etc. Clicking on one of the featured questions also leads to more suggested questions that are more relevant and similar to the selected question. If you are wondering how one can appear Google’s answer box, then answering questions on Quora will help you be more visible in this area. It is useful for generating lead and is a unique method that not many utilize.

4. Meanings


When you search for the meaning or synonym of a particular word, Google shows the meaning as a featured box on top of the search engine results. The box has several meanings, synonyms, examples, and origin of the word as well. It also shows the usage of that word throughout the course of history.

5. Travel Box


If you search for a location or destination, Google uses GPS to track your current location and then it shows you a route to that destination. It also calculates an average time that people will take to travel to the place in the current time via various modes such as walking, cycling, car, two-wheeler, etc.

Apart from that, it also shows the timings for public transport like trains and buses. Users can also book cabs via various transportation and ride-sharing companies. It also shows the traffic and alternate routes with the average time to travel in real time.

In order to be ranked at the top here, you need to do Google Maps SEO. If you have good reviews and the correct information in your business location, then you’ll automatically be ranked higher in the search results page.

D. Knowledge Graph Box

Knowledge Graph Box is a knowledge base that Google uses to enhance user satisfaction on its search engine and other related services. The information is presented in 2 formats:

  1. Infobox
  2. Carousel

1. Infobox


The infobox of Knowledge Graph Box by Google shows genuine, important information about the query searched by a user. It shows a lot of information in very little space.

For a celebrity or person, the infobox will show the following details:

  • Date of birth
  • A short description
  • Official website [if any]
  • Social media profiles
  • City/country of origin/birth
  • Family [children, spouse, parents, etc]
  • Famous quotes by that person
  • Books or movies which are written by them or in which they have appeared
  • Related searches of people similar to them

On the other hand, when you search for a brand, it displays these details:

  • Description
  • Founders
  • Founded
  • Headquarters
  • Stock price
  • Main executives
  • Social media channels
  • Related searches

This happens for a number of other things too such as movies, shows, major events in history such as wars, riots, natural disasters, etc.

2. Carousel


Google is committed to delivering quality search engine results to its user for every query. Carousel is one of the ways which helps them achieve their aim. Carousel shows you topics similar to the one you’re currently searching.

For example, if you searched for one movie by Johnny Depp, you will be able to browse through other movies in which he appears from the carousel. It won’t lead you anywhere else unless you click on one of the suggestions. When you click on one, it opens another search results page for that particular topic.

Some other examples for Google carousel include movies, celebrities, historical events, cities, organizations, etc

E. Local Listings

When looking for restaurants, ATMs or cafes near you, Google shows the local listings in a slightly different way.

  1. Map pack
  2. Local Listing Graph Panel

1. Map Pack


This is a basic type of listing where few elements are involved. Google shows you the route and locations on a small and compressed version of Google Maps. Along with that, it also lists three places close to your with the ratings, timings, distance from your location, etc. If you want to view more similar places, then you are given the option for browsing through a long list as well.

2. Local Listing Graph Panel


Popular hotels and museums are sometimes also given a separate graph panel when you search for local listings. This element includes a short description, timings, rush hours, average amount of time people spend there, related searches, reviews, and ratings, etc. When going through a diagram of a Google search results page, this element isn’t given much importance but being listed here really gives a boost to your business.

So those were the major elements you’d expect to see in a Google search results page. If you’d like to be listed on the popular search engine, you can contact us for ultimate SEO services in India.

Is your business already listed in most of them? Which ones are beneficial for you? We’d love to hear your response to this article, so drop a mail or a comment below!

Editor’s note : This article was originally published in November 2018 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy.

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