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The Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) Explained

Last week I was conversing with a client over the phone and she mentioned that she wanted her new website to be on the top of the SERP’s page. When I started to explain to her the logistics of being listed at the top for her search terms she was fascinated. She is a very intelligent woman with several websites already, and it got me to thinking that I should probably do a post for people who don’t quite understand it all.

So, with that in mind – let me just explain (gently) what you’re looking at:

Whenever you go to a search engine such as Google and you type in a keyword or phrase (the words you are using to search for something), after you hit “Search”, the items that come up are broken down as follows:

The very top one or two “Sponsored Links” paid results. To get in that position, you have to be engaged in a PPC (Pay Per Click) or (Adwords) campaign with Google and you have to be the top bidder for the keyword phrase that was searched on.

Over on the right side are more “Sponsored Links”. These are also paid or “sponsored” results from a PPC campaign. The results on the side are not the top dollar advertising. The person in charge of the campaign has a choice of what keywords to bid on, how much they want to spend per word or phrase and what position they want to be in.

The results underneath the top ones and to the left or in the middle are the natural search results. Meaning, the results that are showing up here are based on SEO (search engine optimization) and not a paid advertising campaign. There are many factors that the search engine algorithms use in order to determine what you as the end user will see. The results page does emphasize how important search engine optimization can be to your marketing budget.

You can either pay a professional for your SEO or work on it yourself. It requires a good investment of your time, however the results are worth it. You can find good SEO advice by doing a Google search on “SEO tips” and now you’ll know what you are looking at when the results page comes up.

I am a Commerce, Computer and Law graduate. I am running my own IT Company since 1993. I like to Read, explore Hindu Sanskruti, Travelling and Riding/Driving.

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