Cover by Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge

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Understanding Search Engine Results

In the search marketing field, the pages the engines return to fulfill a query are referred to as search engine results pages (SERPs). Each engine returns results in a slightly different format and will include vertical search results (specific content targeted to a query based on certain triggers in the query, which we’ll illustrate shortly).

Understanding the Layout of Search Results Pages

Each unique section represents a snippet of information provided by the engines. Here are the definitions of what each piece is meant to provide:

Vertical navigation

Each engine offers the option to search different verticals, such as images, news, video, or maps. Following these links will result in a query with a more limited index. In Figure 2-3, for example, you might be able to see news items about stuffed animals or videos featuring stuffed animals.

Horizontal navigation

The search engines also offer other types of navigation elements. For example, in Figure 2-1 you can see that Google offers the option to limit the date range of the content returned in the search results.

Search query box

All of the engines show the query you’ve performed and allow you to edit that query or enter a new query from the search results page. Next to the search query box, the engines also offer links to the advanced search page, the features of which we’ll discuss later in the book.

Results information

This section provides a small amount of meta information about the results that ...

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