Comparison of SEO and SERP

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In this article, you will learn the differences between SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

What Is the Difference Between SEO and SERP?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation, whereas SERP is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page. They are two different things, but very closely related. Here’s how they differ from each other.

What is a SERP?

A SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is the webpage a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo shows a user when they type a search query. The search engines aim to fill the SERP with relevant results that help the user find what they are looking for.

For example, if a user searches for “blue shoes”, the search engine will show a list of results from around the web that talk about blue shoes in a helpful way.

Example of a Google SERP

What Role does the SERP Play for Search Engines?

Now, consider that
– the aim of a search engine is to get the searcher as efficiently as possible to the solution to the problem (or answer to their question) the user expressed
– the SERP is the vehicle for search engines to do that
– search engines will highlight in that SERP the result that they recommend as the best / most appropriate solution

What is SEO?

…then we can define SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as:

SEO is the art and science of persuading search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem. (original source and a long explanation here)

So, is SEO a Part of SERP?

The short answer is no, but they are closely related.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the work a website owner does to get a webpage to the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for relevant user search queries.

In other words, SEO is the process of optimising a website to rank well on the SERP, while the SERP is the actual page that the search engine displays with the results.

Therefore, the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is an important concept in the field of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but SEO is not a part of (or subset of) SERP.

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