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What Are SERP Features? An In-Depth Guide


Search engine results pages (SERPs) are getting more and more crowded. There's a lot of content to sort through, which means that search engines have to come up with new ways to make it easier for users to find what they're looking for. That's where SERP features come in. These are different types of boxes or sections that show up on the top result page when someone searches for something specific, along with organic results like webpages or articles. Understanding how they work can help you improve your website's ranking in search engines—and hopefully get more traffic from people who are looking for what exactly you offer!

Types of SERP Features

There are several types of SERP features, each with its own purpose:

  • Featured Snippets

  • Used to display answers to questions that users enter into the search box. They can be accessed directly from the SERP, or through a carousel at the top of results pages.

  • Knowledge Panels and Cards

  • Used to display information about businesses or products, such as reviews and price comparisons. They can be accessed by clicking on the corresponding link in the organic result or by scrolling down on mobile devices (which will prompt you with an option).

What's the Difference Between Featured Snippets, Carousels and Answer Boxes?

Featured Snippets, Carousels and Answer Boxes are all types of SERP features. The purpose of these features is to provide additional information about a search query in the form of an answer that may be more helpful than what you would find on your first page of results.

All three types of SERP features are designed to provide a more user-friendly search experience for users by providing them with answers directly on their screen as soon as they begin typing their question into the search box or clicking on any related links (like images). They can also be used for both informational searches (e.g., "how do I make pancakes?") or transactional searches (e.g., "where's my package?").

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are snippets of information that appear on the search results page. They're usually answers to questions people are likely to ask, but they can also be summaries of a product or service.

To create a Featured Snippet:

  • Create a clear, concise answer to your question in the form of an HTML document and upload it to your site.

  • Make sure you have optimized your content for search engines by using titles and meta descriptions that will help users understand what they'll find when they click on the result link (more on this later).


Carousels are a SERP feature that allows Google to show multiple results in a single result. They're typically located at the top of the page, and they can be displayed in either a horizontal or vertical format. The first result shown will be considered more important than any others listed below it.

Answer Boxes

The answer box is a feature that Google introduced in 2014. It's a box that displays a search result in a separate window from the rest of your search results, and it can be used to display factual information like definitions or ratings. The answer box is typically used for questions with one correct answer (e.g., "When did Alexander Hamilton die?").

For example, let's say you searched for "How tall is Barack Obama?" You might see something like this:

You'll learn about the three different types of SERP features that exist today, including how each one works and when you'll see them in search results.

The three types of SERP features that exist today include:

  • Featured snippets. These are short, highlighted answers to questions that appear at the top of search results. They're typically pulled from an authoritative source like Wikipedia or StackOverflow, but sometimes they can also be generated by Google's machine learning algorithm. You'll see a lot of them in local searches as well; for example, if you search for "best pizza restaurants in New York City," you may see a map with some restaurants listed under it along with an answer box underneath that says something like "We found these places had the best reviews on TripAdvisor."

  • Carousels (or carousels). These are larger boxes containing up to four individual ads rotating through every few seconds before settling on one ad after 30 seconds or so--the idea being that users will find something interesting enough within those few seconds to click on it without getting bored waiting around while all four rotate consistently across all pages across different sites within each search result set (SERPS).


If you're looking for a way to improve your search rankings, the best place to start is with the SERP features. These can be powerful tools for improving your visibility and driving more traffic to your website from Google searches.

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