If the purpose of Google’s SERP features could be summed into one sentence, it would be this: Every inquiry has an underlying intent, and Google does its best to deliver an answer in the form of a feature. Different inquiries demand different features, so an internet user won’t see every Google SERP feature below the search box. However, depending on the inquiry itself and how Google reads the intent, the internet user may see one or more of the following features:
1. Featured Snippet
A featured snippet – also known as an answer box – sits at the top of organic search results with a direct answer to the search query. The featured snippet consists of a paragraph from an article that answers the query, an image to the right of the paragraph (if applicable), and the website link from which the paragraph was found.
2. Local Pack
We highlighted Local Pack (and other important local features pertaining to Local SEO) in our first blog in this series. For a quick overview, “Local Pack appears at the top left of the search engine result page. It will display a picture and list the most important information such as name of the company, hours of operation, address, and reviews. For Local Pack, your Google Business Profile (not your website) is the main factor that determines whether your company will be listed here. Without a Google Business Profile, your company will not show up in the Local Pack.”
3. Review Snippets
Not to be confused with content reviews, the Review Snippets feature provides a visual overview of the content reviews. This visual can be found underneath the blue link and description. It is displayed with yellow stars, a rating, and how many votes contributed to the rating.
The sitelinks feature acts as a shortcut to help the internet user get to the desired website page faster. For example, if an internet user types “M&R Marketing” into Google, our home page sitelink will be the first to appear. Underneath that, four internal links are listed – Careers, Team, Our Services, and Macon, GA Marketing Agency. By clicking on any of the four internal links, Google will take you directly to that page.
Featured videos will display at the top of organic search results when Google deems a video will be more beneficial for the internet searcher. There are certain keyword phrases that won’t generate videos – like if the user typed “Target” into the search bar. But, if the user types “How to cut an onion”, the first result is a video.
6. Top Stories
Top Stories is a useful feature in Google if the inquiry pertains to a topic that is trending. After the user searches a specific phrase or word, the Top Stories box will appear below the search box. It will include when and by whom the article was written, the name of the article, and a video or image. For example, in the heart of football season, an internet searcher will have access to Top Stories if he types the name of his favorite quarterback into the search bar.
An internet user does not necessarily have to click on the “images” tab at the top of the SERP to receive a visual. If Google deems images will be beneficial to the user based on the query, a block or row of images will be at the top of the SERP.
Although not the king of social media, Twitter has earned a spot in Google SERPs. Since 2015, Google has been indexing tweets which are displayed if a relevant query is typed into the search bar. Stemming from our quarterback example above, type in your favorite quarterback into the search bar and press enter. The placement of these tweets will vary, but there is likely a section of displayed tweets regarding your favorite QB.
9. Knowledge Panel
The Knowledge Panel provides clear and concise information about the query – consider it to be like the table of contents in a book. It gives the internet searcher a quick overview of the topic. For example, if you simply search “lion” into Google’s search bar, the knowledge panel will provide a short description, images, information about its speed, conservation status, trophic level, scientific name, lifespan, and mass.
10. People Also Ask
The People Also Ask (PAA) feature is a helpful tool that relates to the search query. It is Google’s way of providing more information about the initial query. After clicking on a question box in the PAA feature, an answer box will form below it with a description, the associated article, a recommended “Search For:” link, and an image (if applicable). Initially, the PAA feature only produces four question boxes. However, once the internet user clicks on one question box, more question boxes appear below the initial four.
11. Related Searches
The Related Searches feature resembles the People Also Ask feature in the sense that it gives the internet user more opportunities to discover information about the initial query. Instead of question boxes underneath the initial results, the Related Searches boxes are at the bottom of the SERP. These boxes can be identified by their grey background, short text, and a magnifying glass.
12. Shopping Ads (Product Listing Ads)
If Google deems the user has a shopping intent based on the query, it will pull shopping ads and products from different websites and display them at the top of the SERP. A simple click on the shopping box will take the user to the associated website.
M&R Marketing Can Implement Marketing Tactics to Help Your Business Thrive!
Showing up in a Google SERP feature is no small feat, but one that can skyrocket your profits and reach your target audience. Our team can implement the right SEO tactics to get your website on Google’s radar, helping it to be displayed in a SERP feature. Are you interested in learning more? Call one of our account managers today: 478-621-4491
Stay tuned for our four-part series:
1. What is Local SEO? Your Guide to Local SEO, Listings, and More
2. Simple Ways to Improve Your Local SEO
3. Popular Google SERP Features Explained
4. Strategies to Rank Higher in Google Maps