Development of Google SERP
People have multiple reflex reactions and one of them when looking for an answer searches it on google. It’s an automatic reply. We got so used to using the search engine that we opened the Google search bar before we even properly processed the question. But the results, or SERPs, we see today have had their own journey that spanned two decades.
What is a Google SERP?
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) refer to the web pages that are displayed when searching for something using search engines like Google. After the user types their query in the search bar, the resulting pages that are targeted are SERPs.
Ranking high on SERPs is a primary goal for any business looking to build a presence as it will lead to more traffic and ultimately more sales.
Google SERP over the years
Since the world was blessed with the power of Google, the way how search results were displayed and what they contained has evolved significantly over the years. Some highlights were given below:
1998: the beginning
John Hennessey, a computer scientist, was the first to use Google search. He searched for ‘Gerhard Casper’ and instead of getting the results from Casper the kind ghost, he got the links to the specific person he was looking for – Gerhard Casper.
2000: Invention of AdWords
This year, Google launched AdWords. Originally planned for 350 advertisers, 2000 pay-per-click ads started. The paid ads are usually shown at the top of SERPs and look similar to the other results on the list, except that they have a lower click-through rate (CTR).
2001-07: transition to universal search
From just a few websites, Google has expanded and covered the globe to become the “universal search” for all content available on the Internet. The vertical search engine has added the following important functions to its framework during this period:
The main goal of Google was to get the most reasonable result possible, be it with any of the features mentioned above. The only requirement was that the content was available somewhere on the World Wide Web. In addition to accuracy, speed was another important factor that the search engine kept improving. For this purpose, the following functions, among others, have been introduced:
Google Instant (results appear as you type)
Google Suggest (real-time suggestions)
2010: Introduction of the location search
When switching to Google Local, Google developed the location search and focused on Google Maps. This made it much easier for customers to get to stores near them.
When it started everyone sat up and noticed as it had a huge impact on how the SERP results were displayed.
2011: Schema markup
The schema markup was started jointly by Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This was done so that there could be a consistent set of schemes when it comes to structured markup. Schema markups provided more structure when displaying data.
2012: Knowledge graph
This refers to the control panel that appears on the right side of the search results. It gets information from the web and offers quick snippets and summaries of the content the user is looking for.
2013: Carousel start
Formerly released for local (supposed to show places like restaurants etc.), but then this idea was not implemented. However, the carousel idea didn’t die here and showed multiple search results.
For example, if you are looking for a movie genre, the horizontal stripe that appears above is called a knowledge graph.
2014: ‘In the news’
It started out as “On The News” and was included in SERPs for ad, but then its name was changed to “Top Stories” and the ad was changed to carousel format. This is an important part of SERPs.
2016: Selected snippets
The SERP’s quick response feature has officially been changed to “Recommended Snippets”. Snippets show a brief summary of all the answers the user is looking for and can be in the form of paragraphs, lists, or tables.
If you are featured in the featured snippet, it has several advantages. The most important thing is that it has improved visibility as you will be shown at the top and have the trust of Google. This leads to more traffic for the website in question.
The start of jobs created a massive disruption in the recruiting industry. With the aim of making it easier for users to find a job, Google tried and tries consistently to make this job search process as easy as possible for both the candidate and the recruiter.
2018: Recording of videos in the carousel
As said here, videos have been included in the carousel feature of SERPs in order to make them easily accessible and to expand the range of results for the users.
2019: Ads improvement
For the sake of clarity, starting this year, Google started flagging ads to make mobile search better for users. Advertisements were given black “Advertisement” labels so that they were easily visible.
In addition, the “Search for Photos” feature has been added so that users can further simplify their search experience by requesting visuals in addition to descriptions.
2020: COVID-19 local reporting
COVID-19 also had an impact on SERPs. For the information being relayed and the speed with which Google is changing its framework to include the widely lauded pandemics.
It provided information taking into account the local impact and rearranged the data accordingly so that users could get the latest news from their area and stay up to date.
The word that best describes Google is reinvention as it constantly outperforms itself and just keeps getting better over the years. In addition, the company is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon as it always seems full of ideas followed by perfect executions that make users’ lives easier every day.
If you want to know exactly how SERPs work and how you can achieve more, don’t forget to go through the various courses offered by Digital Ready and become a digital marketer.