The Art of Analyzing a Search Engine Results Page

Every time an article or a blog post is published, a webmaster waits for the searchbot to index the website and pull up the web page in the Search Engine Result Pages during a search. The time taken for a web page to rank in top 20 of Google SERPs depends on its various internal and external factors.

The Internal factors depend on how well a web page has been optimized while the external factors depend on the competition for a particular key phrase.

Internal Factors:

A typical Search Engine Results page comprises of 10 results, each result containing a search result link and the search snippet.

1. The search result link is the title of the page and is truncated to 65 characters. There is no such rule to limit the length of title of a web page, though Google truncates the length to 65 characters for a consistent display in the SERPs. The search link should contain the key phrase of the web page and should be interesting enough for readers to click on.

2. The snippet is compiled with text from Meta Description tag and the content of the web page. If the readers ‘search phrase’ matches with the text in Meta Description tag, then the snippet may consist of the description text only. If not, then Google will look for the matching phrase in web page content and form the snippet. If the search phrase is contained half in the description tag & half in the content, Google will add the two with… in between.

External Factors:

Many times despite optimizing a web page well, it does not appear in the top search engine results pages. This may be due to fierce competition for that particular “key phrase”. Hence, analysis of competing websites appearing in the SERPs is a must. Top 10 ranking websites can be selected for the analysis to get a realistic view of the time it would take to rank in top 20 of Google SERPs.

Factors to take into account:

1. Number of backlinks: How many unique backlinks does the competing web page have?

2. Domain Age: How long has the website been active on the Internet?

3. Type of Website: what kind of website is ranking in top 10 of the SERPs? If Wikipedia stands on #1 position, aiming for position 2 is more realistic.

It is extremely important to analyze “How” and “Which” search results appear in the SERPs. This gives a fair idea of how to implement the techniques and how many months it would take to enjoy a top position in the search engine results page.

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