Analysing Google’s Search Engine Results Pages

.tags The Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are in constant transition, with Google continuing to implement new features all the time and increasing its emphasis on trying to keep the user on the Search Engine Results Pages as long as possible by actually offering the information they are searching for from within the SERPs. Googles SERPs have seen the most marked re-development over the course of the last few years, and in particular since 2007 and the advent of Universal Search. Universal Search is a feature in Google that integrates many of the different channels in Google including images, news, video, products and local business results (Google Places) within the Search Engine Results Pages. This transition has led many Search Engine Optimisation professionals to be in a constant state of transition, and looking for the optimal way to increase their websites exposure using a multi-channel (as opposed to single channel natural listings) approach.

The Search Engine Results Pages are broadly split up into three sections. The top section, The Ads, are advertisements, also known as paid search or Pay Per Click (PPC). These ads are paid for by advertisers on a pay per click basis i.e. the advertiser pays for each click on an ad as opposed to each impression. The section on the right hand side of the Search Engine Results Pages also belongs to paid search, these advertisements are merely an extension of the ones listed at the top of the page. The position an ad obtains in the SERPs is dependent on a range of factors including the advertisers spend and the quality score of their pages.

The section below the main ad block is the natural listings. These are listings that are influenced by Search Engine Optimisation professionals. This section of the Search Engine Results Pages is the one that has been most open to transition in recent years with the integration of universal search. Universal search results will generally appear whenever a user types in a relevant query e.g. a product-related query, or a query related to a recent news item. One more recent development in the natural listings has been the integration of real time updates via Twitter.

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