How Google SERP Works: An Overview for Beginners

If you are someone who uses Google regularly, you might have noticed the results that show up when you enter a search query. These are called SERP or Search Engine Results Page, and they are of great importance when it comes to digital marketing. In this article, we will discuss how Google SERP works and what are the factors that influence ranking.

What is a Google SERP?

A Google SERP is the page that displays relevant results for a user’s search query. When you type a query into the Google search bar, it uses an algorithm to generate a list of results based on various factors such as your location, search history, and other factors. This algorithm is constantly changing, and Google is continuously updating it to provide users with the SERP best possible results.

There are different types of results that can show up on a Google SERP. These include organic results, paid results, featured snippets, knowledge panels, and others.

Organic results

Organic results are the primary results that show up on a Google SERP. These are non-paid results, meaning that website owners do not pay Google to appear on this list. Organic results are generated by the Google algorithm after crawling and indexing relevant content from different websites.

Paid results

Paid results, on the other hand, are ads that show up on the top and bottom of the Google SERP. These results are paid for by website owners who want to promote their products or services. Paid results are indicated by the word “Ad” and are priced on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis.

Featured snippets

Featured snippets are special boxes that show up at the top of the Google SERP. These boxes provide a summary of the answer to the user’s query, taken from a relevant website. Featured snippets are a great way to increase your website’s visibility and get more traffic.

Knowledge panels

Knowledge panels are boxes that show up on the right side of a Google SERP. These panels provide information about a particular query, including images, videos, and other useful information.

Now that you know about the different types of results that show up on a Google SERP, let’s discuss how Google determines the ranking of these results.

Factors That Influence SERP Ranking

Google uses a complex algorithm to determine the ranking of a website on a SERP, and this algorithm is kept confidential. However, there are certain factors that experts believe influence the ranking of a website. These factors include:

Keyword usage

Keyword usage is one of the most important factors that influence SERP ranking. Google uses the keywords that you use in your content to understand what your website is about. It is important to use relevant and high-traffic keywords in your content and metadata to increase your chances of ranking higher on a SERP.

Content quality

Google places a lot of emphasis on the quality of the content that you provide on your website. Your content should be original, useful, and relevant to your target audience. Additionally, you should update your content regularly to keep it fresh and relevant.


Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. Google considers backlinks as a sign of credibility and authority. However, not all backlinks are created equal. You should aim to get high-quality backlinks from relevant websites to boost your SERP ranking.


More than half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and Google has recognized this trend. Websites that are mobile-friendly have higher chances of ranking higher on a SERP. Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices by using a responsive design.

Page speed

Page speed is another important factor that can influence SERP ranking. A slow-loading website can lead to a poor user experience, and Google prefers websites that are fast and responsive. Make sure that your website is optimized for fast loading times by minimizing the size of images and videos and using a content delivery network (CDN).


Understanding how Google SERP works is essential for anyone involved in digital marketing. While there is no magic formula for achieving a top SERP ranking, focusing on aspects such as high-quality content, relevant keywords, and a mobile-friendly design can help you reach your desired goals. Keep in mind that the Google algorithm is constantly changing, and you need to keep up with its updates to maintain your ranking.