What is the Left Rail of a Google SERP?
The Left Rail of a Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is what you see on the left hand side on desktop when you use Google Search. You can consider the Left Rail as Google’s recommendations on the web results it thinks are most relevant and helpful to the user’s search intent – what it thinks are the best solution to the user’s problem or the best answer to their question.
What Role Does the Left Rail of a Google SERP Play in Brand SERP Optimisation ?
In a Brand SERP, the Left Rail displays the resources it believes are valuable and helpful to the audience.
Generally, the brand’s website comes first in the Left Rail because it is very likely that the person simply wants to visit the website to learn more about them, contact them or make a purchase.
Visiting the website might often be the most common aim of a user googling a name… but in the Left Rail, Google will also offer other resources it has found about the entity, brand or person.
Google wants to offer its users multiple opportunities to research and interact with the brand or person, so it tries to include links and Rich Elements that are representative of the brand or person from their audience’s perspective.
Sites you will typically see in the Left Rail of a Brand SERP are: social profiles, review sites, articles about the entity, Crunchbase, IMDB, Wikipedia…
Rich Elements you will typically see in the Left Rail of a Brand SERP are: Image Boxes, Video Boxes, Twitter Boxes, Map Pack, YouTube Boxes, and Entity Boxes. That is HUGE – if you care about what your audience thinks about you, you need to manage the Left Rail on Google SERPs for a Google search on your name. That means Brand SERP Optimisation.