[SEO Manual Chapter 2g]


Experienced SEOs can skip this section, but search engine results pages (SERPs) determine the results of our SEO efforts.

In this late-2011 version of a SERP for the query “health insurance agents” in Dallas, TX, we point out key portions that all SEOs should understand:


1. Universal search

Google and other major search engines offer specialized search engines for images, news, video and even shopping. The main SERP page we see tries to incorporate elements from all of those search engine types to provide what Google calls universal search results.

2. Location

Google and Bing are increasingly focusing their top pages on localized results. Search engine users now have the option of checking local results for practically any city in the world.

3. Related search

Google provides related search terms (and their results).

4. More search tools

Click this link to access results from dictionaries, translated foreign pages that Google deems relevant to this search, and results adjusted by reading levels.

5. Top-3 ads

This is prime real estate for PPC ad placements and accounts for a large chunk of Google’s ad revenue.

6. Sidebar ads

The sidebar typically contains 7 PPC ad entries. In addition, Google increasingly adds additional PPC ads to the bottom of the page.

7. Related searches

To assist users who haven’t quite found what they’re looking for, Google includes related search terms that will generate a new SERP.

8. Google Places

This is valuable placement for local businesses. In addition to the 10-pack in the main column, there is usually a corresponding map in the right sidebar that correspond to the Google Places entry.

9. Top organic placement

Google will sometimes place the top 1-3 search entries above the Google Places section. This makes that #1 organic invaluable.

10. Organic entries

The default setting is to have 10 organic entries per page. The remaining organic search results are typically listed below the Google Places section.




Next SEO Manual post:  A Word About PageRank – Part 1


The Web1Media SEO Manual is an advanced search engine optimization (SEO) guide developed by Web1Media and serialized for public use. The SEO tactics, strategies and principles discussed in this SEO manual have been gleamed from our own experiences in the SEO, SEM and online marketing arena. If you would like to cite any portion of this SEO guide for non-profit use, we would be honored and simply request a citation link.

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