Complete Guide on Google SERP Features for 2023 to Improve SERP Visibility

Complete Guide on Google SERP Features for 2023 to Improve SERP Visibility
Ramesh Karki | March 10, 2023
Google SERP Features in 2022 feature image

Google is always on top of creating new SERP features to offer diverse search results and a better customer experience. For some searches, we get maps, for some images & videos, and some questions and answers, and much more. The appearance or order of the SERP features is constantly changing.

Their constant update and personalization may be user-friendly and helpful to a customer, however, can be very frustrating to digital marketers.

That being said, if leveraged properly, Google SERP features can be a powerful tool for SEO and SEM managers helping them optimize their content to gain more traffic, better above-the-fold visibility, improve the users’ experience, and effectively distribute the marketing budget to optimize ROAS.

In this article, we will look at the types of Google SERP features available and the benefits you gain by showing up on those SERP features.

Let’s begin!

What are SERP Features?

SERP features are any form of listing that appears on Google’s SERP. It is important to consider SERP features when choosing keywords and optimizing your content for organic CTR (Click-through rate).

Each SERP feature displays different types of information to accommodate their customers at various stages of the shopping journey to enhance their experience. Some examples of Google SERP features include an image carousel, video carousel, map pack, knowledge panel, People Also Ask, etc.

How does SERP play a major role in digital marketing for SEO and SEM?

For brands, retailers, and any other businesses, the two primary strategies on the SERP are i) SEO and ii) SEM which helps optimize the websites and increasing their visibility, traffic, impressions, clicks, and conversion on the SERP.

By now, we have all seen different types of SERP features appear on different kinds of keywords. But how can you decide which SERP feature works best for your strategy?

This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) come into play.

For any relevant searches, SEO optimizes the content on a website and its structure to rank them higher. By appearing on the first page of the SERP, a website can attract more clicks and organic traffic to their site increasing their visibility and potentially generating leads and sales.

SEM, on the other hand, is used for paid search ads to appear at the top of the SERP for specific keywords. These ads are targeted to specific audiences and can help businesses drive traffic quickly. By analyzing the performance of these ads, businesses can adjust their targeting and bidding strategies and improve their ROI to achieve their marketing goals.

In both SEO and SEM, it’s important to understand the SERP’s role, the key factors influencing rankings, and how to optimize one’s marketing and advertising strategies to appear higher in the SERP.

SEO and SEM teams can leverage the information provided on the Google SERP to gain a better understanding of their total search performance on the platform.


Now, let’s learn about all the Google SERP features in more detail.

A. Organic Results in the SERP

Organic results are the listings on the SERP that appear organically and are often referred to as a non – paid search results. The listings are based on factors such as relevance, quality, authority, and what the search engines deem most relevant to the user’s queries.  They get their position in the SERP through SEO. SEO helps your website show up on specific Google SERP features while improving your position on the SERP.

Let us go through detail about some of the most common organic results that appear on Google.

1. Featured Snippets

Featured Snippets - listicle listings

Google first began displaying featured snippets directly in its SERP in 2014. The Featured Snippet is a large box located at the top of Google SERP where google displays a snippet of content from the top-ranking organic results in the SERP. It is showcased when the search query shows informational intent. This feature provides valuable pieces of information in a precise form giving searchers a quick answer to their questions. It features text or video from a website that directly answers the search query. The different formats for featured snippets are paragraphs, bulleted lists, and tables.

Per Ahrefs, the Featured Snippet gets about 8% of all organic clicks -a significant impact on the organic click-through rate. Featured snippets put your website at the top of the SERP and make it more clickable on both mobile and desktop.

Learn more on how to optimize for featured snippets.

Benefits of Featured Snippets
  • Increase in organic traffic and clicks leading to the website.
  • Increase in organic conversion.
  • Highest visibility over authoritative brands.
  • Boost website and brand’s credibility.
  • Increase in the keyword’s ranking.

2. People Also Ask (PAA)

people also ask - PAA

The “People Also Ask” box shows an infinite list of algorithmically generated questions related to the search query. Google began displaying the “People Also Ask” (PAA) feature directly in its SERP in 2015. It is a dynamic Google SERP feature that answers the list of questions closely related to the searcher’s intent and displays additional information to users from their initial search query.

According to Advanced Web Ranking, People Also Ask (PAA) boxes show up in 8.5% of all US-based search queries. They are mini-FAQs placed in the organic search results. The goal of PAA is to provide an easy way to answer the user’s initial query and possibly the subsequent queries that may follow. Learn more about it in our blog post “how to optimize for People also ask“.

Benefits of People Also Ask
  • Discover related keywords and creates long-tail keywords that can be used to optimize your website.
  • Helps to create better content.
  • Aids in getting more traffic and improves the click-through rate which is important for ranking higher.
  • Avoid brand degradation with better answers for branded queries.

3. Image Pack

Image Pack example of running shoes

An image pack is a series of images that Google displays in the search results for any search query that refers to images. Google identifies search queries with visual intent and provides searchers with a carousel of images related to the search term. When Google’s algorithm determines that visual information being relevant to a search, the SERP will include a row of images. Clicking on one of the images takes you to the images tab of Google. Google began displaying Image Packs directly in the SERP in the early 2010s and has since become an important part of the search results.

4. Video Carousel


Google began displaying Video Carousels directly in the SERP in the mid-2010s, and it has since become an increasingly important part of the search results. Video carousels are a set of video results or video snippets that appear in the organic search results enhanced with a video thumbnail. They have a title and a description and most often they link back to YouTube. A video carousel is a Google’s response to a query that identifies as having visual/informational intent. Google video results only appear if a site has an embedded video content that’s relevant to the search.

SEO Inc reported that 62% of all Google searches include video carousels, and those videos are 50 times more likely to rank organically than plain text results. Video carousels are significant as they take a lot of SERP real estate. They often appear at or near the top of the page which makes it highly likely to get clicked. It is better to upload your videos through YouTube as YouTube is a product of Google.

5. Local Map Pack

local map pack

Google will show users a local map pack when it recognizes that a search query has local intent. They have been displaying Local Map Packs directly in its SERP since the early 2000s. A local pack appears when someone enters a query with a location name or when Google’s algorithm finds that a searched item is available nearby. The local pack appears as a map with pins indicating businesses that are relevant to the search term. A local map pack includes the top three physical locations that Google considers relevant, along with reviews, hours, contact information, a link to the website, and directions via Google Maps. Local packs are important for local businesses or businesses with a physical location.

Learn more about it in our blog post “How to optimize for Local SEO

Benefits of Local Map Pack
  • It helps improve your visibility as it is almost always shown at the top of the SERP.
  • The chance of getting clicks as the top 3 Google Search results get 75%.
  • The pack shows your reviews which can greatly influence searchers.

6. Rich Snippets

review - rich snippets

Rich snippets are SERP features for a specific result in the SERP that adds extra visuals to a result, like stars in product reviews or photos in news results. It gives additional information other than a title tag, a description, and a URL which helps users decide in their clicking process. Google began displaying Rich Snippets directly in its SERP in the mid-to-late 2000s. FAQ snippets are a common form of rich snippets. With the extra information added to your listing, the chances of your listing getting clicked increase more.

7. Sitelinks

sitelinks - google serp features

Sitelinks are a list of links to different pages on a specific website under the result’s main URL and description. Google began displaying Sitelinks directly in its SERP in the early 2000s. It is picked out by Google’s web crawlers from your website which helps users quickly find a page or content within that site. The more site links you get, the easier it is for visitors to navigate specific pages within the site.

Sitelinks come in two main forms: Links that take searchers to a page on a website or those that take searchers to a section of a page. Site links usually appear in a search for a specific brand and Google decides which site links to display. For branded search terms, Google serves as an expanded search result with an option to 10 extra links to a particular site. This will and allow users to directly reach the page they are looking for and lead to a better CTR.

8. Popular Products

popular products - running shoes

Popular Products is an unpaid and organic display of Google shopping product listings. It is a carousel of products available to buy which are shortlisted related to your search term. It is displayed in the middle of the search result page. Users can filter by price or by product category within the popular products feature.

Learn more about it in our blog post “How to optimize for Popular Products“.

Benefits of Popular Products
  • It allows smaller e-commerce stores to compete with stores with a larger budget.
  • Occupies a large real estate on the SERP giving you good visibility when your product shows up under it.
  • It creates more opportunities for retailers to have a presence on the Google SERP

9. App Install

app install

An “App Install” organic results is a feature that allows users to find and install new mobile apps directly from the SERP that are relevant to their search queries. These types of results are typically displayed in the SERP when a user’s search is related to a specific app or a type of app.

Google began displaying “App Installs” results directly in its SERP in 2013 with the aim of providing a more seamless and efficient user experience for those searching for apps. They often include a description of the app, it’s rating, reviews, and other relevant information to help users make an informed decision about whether or not to install it.

Benefits of App Install
  • It provides mobile app developers with increased visibility for their apps in SERP.
  • By prominently featuring app installs in SERP, users are more likely to install the app, leading to increased downloads for app developers.
  • App Install as a feature in SERP provides a more convenient and seamless way for users to access the app, improving the overall user experience.
  • It provides valuable data on users’ behavior and preferences to help make informed decisions.

10. Knowledge Panels

knowledge graph - google

A knowledge panel often includes images, facts, social media links, and other relevant information to the search query. Knowledge panels shows up on the right side of the organic results with informational intent about businesses, brands, or organizations. This feature normally appears when the search is tailored for specific places, organizations, people, events, etc. Usually, Google pulls information for the Knowledge Panel from Wikipedia or other specific entity’s website. Google began displaying Knowledge Panels directly in its SERP in the early 2010s.The benefit of having your businesses show up on the Knowledge Panel can boost both authority and credibility for your brand.

11. Knowledge Panel review

knowledge graph - reviews

The Knowledge Panel Review feature in SERP allows users to see customer reviews and ratings for a product or service in the search results. It involves the process of reviewing and providing feedback on the information displayed in a Knowledge Panel. This feature provides valuable information to users, helping them make informed purchasing decisions based on the experiences of other customers.

The appearance of Knowledge Panel Review in organic results can have a significant impact on user behavior, as users are more likely to click on results with positive reviews and ratings. Overall, Knowledge Panel Review as an organic result in SERP will be a valuable tool for organizations looking to improve their online presence, build credibility, and drive traffic and customer engagement.

Benefits of Knowledge Panel Review
  • It provides users with an overall positive experience as it enables them to have access to customer reviews and ratings on particular products or services.
  • Improves businesses’ online reputation by displaying positive customer feedback in the search results.
  • Provides organizations with an increased visibility in the SERP which helps drive traffic to their website.

12. People Also Search

people also search for

Google launched the “People Also Search for” query refinement box on Feb 13, 2018. The “People Also Search For” (PASF) feature in a SERP lists related search queries that appear at the bottom of a Google search result page for a particular search query. This feature provides users with additional information and options to explore related topics and queries making a seamless search process The purpose of this feature is to provide users with quick access to relevant information making it easier for them to discover new topics of interest. The queries in the PASF list are determined by Google’s algorithm, based on factors such as the user’s search history, the content of the web pages that are being searched, and the overall popularity of the related queries.

Benefits of People Also Search
  • Helps users understand the context of their original search query.
  • Provides quick access to related topics and information.
  • Provides website owners with an opportunity to target new keywords and topics.
  • Increases the visibility of the website & drives additional traffic to the site from related queries.
  • Enhances the user experience and improve the discoverability of relevant information on the web

13. Related Searches


The “Related Searches” feature in a SERP is a list of related search queries that appears at the bottom of the SERP. This feature provides users with additional information on a related topic and easier for them to find the information they are seeking. The related searches are determined by the search engine’s algorithm, which considers factors such as the user’s search history, the popularity of related queries, and the content of the web pages being searched.

Benefits of Related Searches
  • It helps users better understand the context of their original search.
  • Helps users discover new topics of interest & broaden their understanding on a particular subject.
  • Improves the user experience and helps users find the information relevant to their needs.
  • Increases the visibility of a website by appearing on related searches result.
  • Helps drive additional traffic to a website from related queries.

14. Related Products

related products-desktop

The “Related Products” feature in a SERP is a list of similar or complementary products that appear on searches related to shopping or product-related queries.  With a quick and easy access, users are able to easily get additional information on related products using this feature. The related products are determined by the search engine’s algorithm, based on factors such as the user’s search history, the popularity of related products, and the content of the product pages being searched.

Benefits of Related Products
  • Users are able to find products per their needs & have the option to compare before purchasing.
  • This feature provides e-commerce sites with an increased visibility & exposure for their products.
  • Users are provided with most up-to-date and relevant information as it is updated in real-time.
  • Improves user experience and makes it easier for them to discover new products per their need.

15. Shops

Shops - Google SERP features

Google’s “Shops” feature began displaying in the SERP in 2020. The goal is to provide users with a visual and interactive shopping experience and help them discover new products while making informed buying decisions. If a product is displayed in the shop’s organic results, it is indicative that the product is in high demand and offers value to customers.

When you search for any product or category, the shops feature will appear at the top of the SERP with products image, their prices, and the logos of participating retailers. This makes it easier for users to find and compare products, while retailers on the other hand can get more viewership on their products.

Benefits of Shops
  • Users are able to discover new products, compare prices & features, and find the right products.
  • For retailers, appearing in the Shops organic results can be a great way to get more visibility and drive more traffic to their websites.
  • It also attracts high-intent customers as the Shops feature is only displayed for certain types of product-related searches.

16. Top Stories

top stories - marketing

“Top Stories” is a feature in Google’s SERP that showcases a curated selection of news articles related to the user’s search query.  Top Stories feature is designed to provide users with quick access to the latest news and information on a variety of topics, including current events, politics, sports, entertainment, and more.

When you search for a topic or keyword, Top Stories feature will appear at the top of the SERP with a carousel of headlines, images, and brief descriptions of the articles. The articles are selected based on their relevance to the user’s search query and their timeliness, ensuring that users have access to the most relevant and latest information on the topics they’re interested in.

Benefits of Top Stories
  • It provides users with a quick and convenient way to stay up to date on the latest news.
  • Appearing in the Top Stories feature increases a publisher’s visibility and readership, helping them reach a wider audience and attract more traffic to their website.
  • Getting featured in the Top Stories feature helps establish the publisher’s credibility and authority.

17. Tweet

tweets serp features - coursera

The “Tweet” feature in Google’s SERP allows users to view and interact with tweets directly from the search results. This feature allows users to see tweets related to their search query without having to leave the SERP and navigate to the Twitter website. When a user searches for a topic or keyword that is related to a popular Twitter conversation, the Tweet will appear in the search results, showcasing a selection of relevant tweets. The tweets are displayed with the username, profile picture, and a brief excerpt of the tweet. Users are able to expand the tweet to see the full text and any media attachments.

Google has been displaying tweets directly in its SERP since 2015. The integration of tweets into Google’s search results was part of a partnership between Google and Twitter, which aimed to provide users with quick access to real-time, relevant information and insights on their search queries.

Benefits of Tweet
  • Provides a convenient and immersive way to see and engage with all the tweets directly from the SERP.
  • Tweet helps increase the visibility and Twitter users’ reach and also provides a new channel for engagement with their followers.

B. Paid Results in the SERP

Paid results cost a charge for advertisers to appear on the SERP as opposed to organic results. The paid SERPs include a label at the top indicating the result is an ad. Paid results have a wide range of forms and formats that serve advertisers’ needs. The two types of Paid SERP features are i) Google Text Ads and ii) Google Shopping Ads. Paid ad spots are won by bidding on keywords.

1. Google Text Ads

text ads - link building

Google Ads are paid advertisements by advertisers who want to have their link appear in Google’s search for a keyword. Google first began displaying text ads directly in its SERP in 2000, with the launch of its own AdWords advertising platform. It includes headlines, the display URL, descriptions, and a call-to-action and occasionally also includes site links, phone numbers, reviews, and other search features

Google SERP has two main advertising positions for Google Ads:

  • At the very top of the SERP page above the organic search results and
  • At the bottom of the SERP page

The placement of the ad depends on the advertiser’s bidding strategy.  Ads listed on the top are more effective and have higher click-ability and visibility. Reaching the top of the SERP requires a high-quality site and a high pay-per-click bid depending on the competitiveness of the keyword.

Benefits of Google Text Ads:
  • It shows up above the organic results increasing your visibility.
  • Allows you to show up on specific keywords of your choice.
  • Ads are shown to those people who have an interest in the product or service you are offering.
  • It is a cost-effective option for businesses as advertisers only have to pay once someone clicks on their ad.

2. Google Shopping Ads

shopping ads - running shoes

Google Shopping Ads, also known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs), was first introduced by Google in the early 2010s. Shopping ads are SERP features with paid ad placement on Google. It displays a carousel of products relevant to a user’s keyword that are available for purchase from paid advertisers. It allows people to quickly browse products across multiple e-commerce websites on the SERP. Shopping ads display the product name, image, retailer, brand, and price, along with special offers, product ratings, number of reviews, and links to the website.

3. Map-Local Search Ads

Map-Local Search Ad

Map-Local search ads are also paid ad results in SERP that businesses pay to have it appear in the Map-Local feature. When a user conducts a search for a local business or service, these paid results will appear alongside any organic (non-paid) results in the Map-Local feature. This feature shows a map with markers for different businesses that match the search query, along with a list of those businesses and their contact information. Users can access relevant information about the business, such as its address, phone number, business hours, customer reviews, and website by clicking on a marker. The businesses listed in these paid results have created a Google My Business profile and are using Google Ads to promote their business.

Benefits of Map-Local Search Ad
  • Helps users find local businesses matching their search query quickly and provides users with a visual representation of local businesses and services.
  • Improves the overall search experience by providing more comprehensive and relevant results.
  • Provides an opportunity to boost visibility to potential shoppers who are searching for local products & services.
  • Businesses can improve their Advertising ROI by directly reaching their targeted audience.

4. Shopping-Multistore

shopping multistore - aveeno

Multistore are paid results in SERP that refer to sponsored listings from multiple online stores. They appear at the top or bottom of a SERP depending on the user’s search query. These listings are marked as “sponsored” or “ad” and allow users to compare products, prices, and availability from different online retailers for a specific product or category of products.

The store’s appearance in the multistore SERP feature is determined by several factors like search engine algorithms, bid amount, relevancy & quality of the store’s website, and product offerings.

Benefits of Shopping-Multistore
  • This feature provides online retailers with increased visibility & the ability to reach a wider audience.
  • Users are able to compare products, prices, and availability from multiple retailers all in one stop which will save both time and effort.
  • The multistore SERP feature can increase competition amongst online retailers, which can result in a lower price and improve product offerings for users.


With the vast knowledge you have acquired on SERP features, you are able to confidently strategize your content and optimize your site with specific SERP features. However, it is also important to keep in mind that the effect of each SERP feature varies depending on a particular niche.

For that, the SERP monitoring tool comes to play. The tool will track the search rankings and features for your important queries and carefully focus on keywords you can rank for. If you are planning to rank on certain SERP features, it will boost both traffic and click-through rates (CTR). To show up on those features your focus should be on understanding the SERP before optimizing your content.

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