You’ve heard the terms SEO and SERP before, but do you know what they mean?

SEO jargon can sometimes make us feel lost at sea with no way to shore. Added to this is the fact that SEO and SERP are so important to your online business today. If you don’t know what these terms mean and how to use them you could end up left in the digital dust. In this article, we’ll help answer the question we know you’re asking: what does SERP stand for.

Let’s dive in!

What Does SERP Stand For?

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. These web pages appear to users after they enter their query (using keywords) into a search engine, like Google. Every search engine results page offers individualized results. Yes, even searches using the same keywords in the same search engine act as personalized results pages. Your SERP takes into account you search keywords, your current location, search and browsing histories.

Google and other search engines seek to provide the most responsive and intuitive searching experience imaginable. Because of this, the way SERPs look changes over time.

Next, we’ll go over the elements of a SERP.

Elements of SERP

SERPS contain two types of results:

  1. organic results
  2. paid results

Organic Results

Organic results show up on a SERP due to the given search engine’s current algorithm. Some SERPs use a higher amount of organic results than other. Why? Searches come in a few different forms. These include informational, navigational, and transactional searches.

Informational searches involve a web user looking for information on a topic. SERPs do not include advertisements or other paid results on these pages because the search does not imply the user wants to buy something. Only informational results will appear.

Navigation searches involve a user finding a specific website.

Transactional searches involve an intent to buy or make a transaction. Paid results appear on these types of searches

Paid Results

Advertisers pay for these type of results to appear in a SERP. Paid results come in many formats, not just text-based advertisements.

Some forms advertisements take on SERPs include:

  • text-based ads
  • pay-per-click ads (PPC)
  • Ad-extensions that allow a potential customer to navigate to specific pages from an ad
  • shopping ads that allow e-commerce products to live alongside other results on a SERP

The top of a SERP is prime real estate for advertising professionals.

Rankings and Algorithms

As we mentioned before, organic search results appear based on a search engine’s unique algorithm. We call the factors that the algorithm looks for “ranking signals”.

These algorithms change as users change the way they interact with online content. They change because digital media always changes.

Ranking signals could include:

  • number of inbound links
  • number of external links
  • optimization for mobile (loading times, time to exit)

Search engine optimization (SEO) fuels your website’s rankings on a search engine results page.

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Now you hold the answer to “what does SERP stand for.” It’s time to put your new found knowledge to good use. Keep these tips in mind as you learn more about SEO, and seek to increase your rankings on SERPs.

If you want to learn more about how you can up your digital marketing game and extend your reach, contact us today!