Jan 2, 2023

What is the difference between SEO and SERP?

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Aditya Singh Rajput
What is the difference between SEO and SERP?

What is the difference between SEO and SERP?

Here is a handy guide capturing the differences between two popular concepts in digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Results Page.
What is the difference between SEO and SERP?

Table of contents

Businesses, big and small, are competing aggressively to find a top spot on the first page of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). And helping them in this battle is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SERP and SEO are connected in more than one way and have helped thousands of businesses drive organic traffic to their websites.

Now, even though both these concepts are tightly intertwined. There are a few key differences between the two that you must know before you embrace SEO completely in your digital marketing efforts.

In this post, we will look into these differences in detail and learn how to utilize SERP data to improve your content.

What is Google SERP?

SERP is short for Search Engine Result Page. In layperson terms, it is the page that shows up when you search for a query on search engines like Google. 

Now, if there is one search engine that has dominated the internet for over three decades, it has to be Google. The abundance of data, minimalistic design, easy accessibility, and accurate search results have made Google the go-to search engine for most of the global population. 

Google fills its SERPs with highly relevant information to help users find what they are looking for in the shortest possible time. Google typically generates organic results and inorganic results (paid results) for every search query. The top 4 spots are usually reserved for inorganic results (Google Ad or pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements), while everything following those would be organic search results.

Today, Google SERPs have evolved considerably and are hosting a variety of intuitive components ranging from snippets to commonly asked questions as SERP features. 

A snippet is a generated extract of content from a website that is usually presented in the SERP for every relevant query. The snippet is used primarily to quickly get the answer to the query without even having to click the link to the original website. It is also called a featured snippet. 

There is also the concept of the ‘rich snippet,’ which is your normal Google search result with additional data such as reviews, ratings, votes, etc. It is usually found in search results involving events, products, stores, etc.

How is SERP important for search engines?

Just like tweets are for Twitter, SERP is the building block of search engines. Without SERPs, search engines like Google and Bing will be obsolete, and most websites will become inaccessible to users unless, of course, they know their exact URL (Uniform Resource Locator). 

The search engine holds the reference of every single page on the internet along with the information stored in it. When a person is searching for a specific query, the search engine will point them to the right piece of information via the SERPs.

Whenever a user searches for a query, the search engines search its index for matching pages. It then returns the results that are of the highest quality and have the most relevance to the search term at the top of the SERP. Relevancy can be attributed to a variety of factors such as location, language, device, etc. 

Once the pages are fetched by the search engine, the algorithm ranks them based on the following factors before displaying them as organic listings to the user:

  • How relevant is the content?
  • How trustworthy is the source of the content?
  • How engaging and consumable is the content?
  • How fresh is your content?
  • Count and quality of backlinks to your website

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What is SEO?

SEO is a set of practices crafted to improve the position of web pages in organic search results. It is the most cost-effective way for people to enhance the visibility of their websites on the internet. A solid SEO strategy is crucial for your business to boost the quality and quantity of organic traffic to your website.

There was a time when SEO was all about writing a piece of content stuffed with a bunch of keywords. Today, SEO is much more than that. The best practices focus on creating high-quality content that actually solves the searcher’s problem. Every SEO practice revolves around understanding what the user wants (user intent) and giving it to them in an easy-to-understand and engaging form.

How are SERP and SEO related together?

As we highlighted earlier, there are multiple factors, like relevancy, freshness, trustworthiness, etc., that search engines like Google uses to rank results in SERP. SEO is all about understanding these ranking factors and using them in a non-manipulative way to create content.

For example, one of the key ranking factors of Google is backlinks. So one part of your SEO strategy should revolve around collecting high-quality backlinks for your websites through guest posting.

It's time to utilize SERP data to improve your content

As you can see, your SEO strategy is heavily dependent on the SERP data. Understanding and utilizing this data is one of the key ways to improve your content and improve the rank of your content piece. 

Unfortunately, gathering this data means a lot of manual work for you. You need to go to Google, type in your keyword, find out what your competitors have written around the keyword, analyze whether the keyword is actually relevant to your website, and so on. 

The entire process can take a lot of time, resulting in the wastage of precious time. (To know more about this process, read this blog, ‘SERP Analysis: What Is It And How To Do It?’)

This is where a platform like Scalenut can help. Scalenut is a leading SEO and content marketing platform that can help you analyze SERP data to write better content. 

Scalenut not only offers your important SERP data but also generates SERP ideas by evaluating what the top-ranked websites are writing around your keyword. Scalenut automatically extracts actual facts from search engines for specific search queries, which helps you find and add credible information to the content to make it relevant for users. 

To know more about Scalenut’s SERP capabilities, sign up for free.

Aditya Singh Rajput
Content Writer
ABout the AUTHOR
Aditya Singh Rajput
Content Writer

Aditya is a professional content writer at Scalenut. He is passionate about AI and its applications in demystifying the world of content marketing and SEO for marketers. He is on a mission to bridge the content gap between organic marketing topics on the internet and help marketers get the most out of their content marketing efforts.

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