- Before we dive into working on getting your website to show up in the search results, it's important to understand what those search results actually look like. Although there are a lot of search engines around the world, and they all have some distinct differences, there are some common characteristics that their search engine results pages, or SERPs, may have. One thing that we're probably going to find are some paid listings. Paid listings are very different than the traditional organic or natural listings that we'll be focusing on for our SEO efforts.
These paid listings are actually advertisements, and programs like Google Ads or Microsoft's Bing Ads, allow advertisers to bid on and place these ads in the search results page. Search engines are always changing how ads appear in the SERPs, as they try to better their business and please their advertisers. And these changes can have surprising and unpredictable impacts on how organic search performs. But for now, we'll talk about what a typical SERP looks like. A typical search engine results page will have 10 organic results that link out to different web pages, sometimes refereed to as the 10 blue links.
Each result might look a little different, but they'll all have at least a headline, a description, and a visible URL. It's important to know what these components look like because later in this course, we'll be modifying and optimizing these particular elements that may appear for an individual result. One important thing to point out is that the internet has changed a lot since search engines first appeared. And there's a lot of content on the web, beyond just text and web pages. Search engines have done a really good job of keeping pace, and while we still view web page results, they also return things like videos, images, news, products, and maps.
All of these can appear on a search engine results page. A common way of describing this would be that we now have blended search results, that include all kinds of different content. Sometimes the blended results will have a group of video clips that match a user's search query. Or it might show a list of local businesses, accompanied by a map. It could be a group of images and prices for a particular product that you can buy. Social results will often feature prominently when you search for a company. And if that company has made the news, chances are there will be a block of recent news items too.
Search results can show up in a variety of different ways, based on what the search engines think is relevant and appropriate to the user's search query. In some search results, you might see a visual carousel of results. Others may include enhanced results, like Google's Knowledge Graph. These results are generated from a variety of sources, like Wikipedia and review sites, as well as information that you can provide search engines from the code of your pages using schema. The important thing to remember is that you have a lot of opportunities to have your content show up in the search engine results pages.
And the more you understand how search engines decide to show results to users, the more you'll understand how to get the search engines to show your content above the rest.
- Define search engine optimization.
- Explore the fundamentals of reading search engine results pages.
- Examine the essentials of understanding keyword attributes.
- Break down the steps for optimizing the non-text components of a webpage.
- Recognize how search engines index context.
- Explore an overview of long-term content planning strategies and how they can help keep content on your site fresh.
- Define your website’s audience, topics, angle, and style when mapping out your long-term content.
- Identify the steps to take when building internal links within your website.
- Recognize how to analyze links in order to measure SEO effectiveness.
- Break down the necessary components for understanding local SEO.