What The Hell Are SERPs? [Part 1]

Image of Search Engine Results Page
The point is to show up in search.

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page.  It’s an acronym (you know, a word or phrase made out of a group of words).  And all that means is when you search for something in google–c’mon, you are most likely lookin’ through google for stuff–the serps are the results of what shows up.

And the reason this blog’s URL is SERP Searching is because that represents the ongoing pursuit of the webmaster.  Well that…and also because the domain name was available!

Let’s get back to this.

Now this post comes up largely due to an exchange I had on Twitter the other day.  The question is from the post you see below…

Question tweet about SEO

and that question was asked after I posted this tweet…

SEO is strange tweet

pretty interesting stuff right?  I think so too.

Let’s Talk About Ranking

I’m going to speak plainly to you: the primary reason people are fussing over their website’s performance in the search engines is because it has a direct effect on the website’s bottom line.   In other words, search engine rankings directly affect how much money a website can make.

That’s right – the better you do in your search engine rankings, the better your site is positioned to make money.  Yes, this is about money.  And don’t you forget it.

[Look, I know there are many fine people out there that maintain their knitting site because they are so damn passionate about knitting.  And base jumping, and their cats.  But the deal–FAAAR more often than not these days–is that most peops are in the game to get paid.

Yes, they may really want to advise you how to handle that hemorrhoid problem, or be lookin’ out when they help you find a good DUI lawyer.  But also know this: they’re providing you this information because they profit from doing so.  And I ain’t knockin’ em one bit.]

So how do you make money off of your website?  Well, there are several ways.  But this post is focused on search rankings.

Once your site is good to go, you need to get eyeballs on your content.  And the principal way to do this is to get your site ranked in the search engines.  And that’s where the search engine results come into play.

Ready For Some SERPs?

Yup!  Here’s how it works.

Let’s use “pie pan” as an example.  Say a user out there is looking to buy pans for the pies she plans to cook on the weekend.  So what does she do?  Got to google (of course) and search for “pie pan”

And as this GIF shows, the returns of this search query are the search engine results page – or serp (serps is the plural).

As you can see from this example, the user browses the results that she is shown initially – regardless of how many results are actually returned.  And those sites that pop up on the first page are in the best position to get the user’s click, which in turn could lead to a sale.  Therefore, it is vital that webmasters do what is necessary to make sure their site shows up in the serps on page one.

That is the whole point of the ballgame.

What About The Other Search Engines?

Making sure that your site shows up at the top of the serps is crucial to your website’s organic reach.  And this reason (among others) explains why google is so powerful.  

I know; The Big G (their street name) ain’t the only player in town.  Hell, there’s

But listen – none of those matter.  They really don’t.


Because Google is soooo dominant, they have effectively monopolized search.  Period!  It is reported that google owns 75% of the total search volume in the marketplace (U.S.).  I think that drives the point home (and they own their nearest competitor – YouTube).

The bottom line here is that google is clearly the kingmaker of search.  Which means that if you’re going to play the game, then you gotta know who sets the rules.  Google does.

Therefore, ranking organically in search is essentially a contest of pleasing master google.  Yes I suppose you could make a livin’ ranking your site(s) in the other search engines.  But honestly, they tend to follow the market leader too.  And we know who that is.

Not to mention, how many people do you know who use Yandex for search???

Bottom Line

Ranking in the serps is all about getting your website to the top of google.  It is just that simple.  Or as it is commonly known, Search Engine Optimization.

To be clear, that’s the baseline understanding here.  That is, making sure that YOUR SITE shows up in search for its targeted term.  The real game comes into play when you begin to look into how that goal is to be achieved.  And that involves SEO.

And that will be the focus of our next chat.

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Author: Otis

I’m a regular asshole. I go to work, pay my bills, cheer my football team and spend time with my family & friends. Nothing too much out of the ordinary. But somewhere along the way, I got into the website thing. And I know full well what it feels like when you’ve got something to say–or sell–and nobody knows about it. That's why I started this site.

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