What is an SERP?

The SERP, or Search Engine Results page is simply the page of results you see when you do a search using a keyword or phrase.

SERPs are extremely important for internet marketers because of the vast amount of web traffic they generate. This arise because most people start the process of finding information online go to a search engine first. Links on the first SERP generate most clicks because in practice few people bother to look at second and subsequent SERPs.

The acronym SERP has arisen because writing Search Engine Results Pages takes too long!

For a search engine optimiser, the SERP is the output of all the work done to optimise a website. You want your site to appear ideally at the top of the SERP but definitely on the first page.

Whilst most people simply click links on an SERP, there is usually quite a lot of useful information on the page that gets overlooked. For example, Google will tell you roughly how many pages it knows about that include the keywords you’ve searched for. This gives you some measure of the competition if you want to get your website to the top.

Additionally, the main search engines usually include sponsored links on this page which are targeted to the keywords used in the search. With Google, these sponsored links are generated by its AdWords pay per click advertising system.

Apart from links to websites, the SERP usually includes a brief extract of the underlying page on the site itself. From the internet marketer’s perspective it is important to make sure that these words maximise the click through rate of your link – an aspect of SEO that is often overlooked.