A search engine results page is the page of results that a search engine returns when a user keys in a given search term. Unless the search is particularly obscure, the results are usually spread across hundreds, if not thousands, of SERPs. Numerous studies have shown that around 90% of traffic from online searches will head to the sites on page one, with the majority of those clicking on one of the top three results.

The order of the organic results in the SERPs is determined by the search engine’s algorithm, which uses hundreds of signals in order to determine a page’s quality and relevancy to a given search. 

On the whole, SERPs mainly feature ads (at the top) and organic search results (below the ads). In addition to this it is very common to find images, shopping suggestions, featured snippets, a knowledge panel or instant answer and even tweets in the SERPs, as well as the local pack for searches with local intent and Google My Business listings for brand related searches. The search engine algorithms will determine if any of this supplementary information is appropriate, but the development of tools such as Google My Business has made it possible for webmasters to gain an advantage by creating an extended Google-friendly profile that will result in their being featured in a knowledge panel.