We are seeing more and more diversity in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) as Google looks to provide as much information to searches as possible without leaving the search results. There is much to debate on whether or not this is a good thing, but it is valuable to start with a quick overview on the main types of features being found on the SERPs beyond the traditional 10 blue links (there are sometimes only 7!). This post will focus on organic (i.e. not paid for) elements.
Knowledge Panels (right):
By using entity search, Google can easily understand the relationship between different things, people, places and much more. Type in almost any brand name or famous person and right there is a wealth of information. The fields will change depending on what people search for most – clever!
Images and Videos:
One of the most common elements are images and similarly (although not quite as common), video. These are attained by optimising your images which is necessary as Google cannot (completely accurately yet) understand an image although they are making huge strides. Try a reverse image search for size…
Google also shows related news content to a search query. There are fairly hefty guidelines to get included in Google news however if you are a media / news website then it’s a bit of a no-brainer!
Featured snippets are answers within the search results, sometimes including images. These are becoming more frequent all the time and are pulled from third party websites. There is no way to ensure getting a featured snippet however question related content marked up in the right way can increase the chances although some snippet content has no mark-up making exact instructions difficult.
All Response Media Viewpoint
There was a fear at first that these features would reduce the traffic to websites and in some instances this has proved true, especially for informational style websites. From a commercial perspective, getting a featured snippet has been proved to usually drive large amounts of traffic so attempting to create and optimise content aligned to guidelines as often well worthwhile. If nothing else, your SEM strategy should be aware, track and where possible take advantage of these developments. If you would like to know more get in touch with the ARM SEO team.