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What is SERP? Meaning, Use Cases and Approaches

SERP - It's Meaning, Use Cases and Approaches
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Joshua Daniel
Last updated on December 06, 2023

Introduction

Imagine this: You're a baseball fan and you are a soccer fan searching for the latest news on your favorite team. So, you open your browser and type a query into the search bar. In milliseconds, you get plenty of links on your screen with the relevancy of your search - they are known as Search Engine Results Pages.
In this blog, we'll discuss the SERP, use cases, and ways and approaches to integrate it into your application.

Search Engine Results Pages: What They Are and How They Work

Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is the list of websites that appear after a user enters a query into a search engine, such as Google. The SERP comprises webpages, images, videos, and other content relevant to the query.
The Search Engine Results Page It is determined by algorithms that assess the relevance of webpages about the query, as well as other factors like page authority and content quality.
The SERP results can be broadly categorized into two categories:
  1. Organic results: Organic means the results are those that appear naturally in the SERP and are not bought or sponsored by any company.
  2. Paid results: Paid results are sponsored or bought by companies and typically appear at the top or bottom of the SERP.
But how can these results be helpful? Well, SERP data can provide insights into search trends, competitor strategies, user intent, and much more.
Now that we have established what exactly the SERP is, and how it can help, let's explore the use cases and how it can be beneficial for different audiences.

Some common use cases of SERP

There are many ways that brands and agencies can benefit from using SERP for SEO and other insights. Below are some of the use cases we have seen.
  1. Search Engine Optimization: SERP plays a key role when you want to optimize the SEO for your website by finding insights for your website's ranking and organic search results. You can assess your brand's ranking by checking how frequently it appears in organic search results. For example, SERP will evaluate the website's position across diverse locations and devices, be it desktops, smartphones, or tablets.
  2. Human Resources: In Human Resources, SERP can be used for employee background checks. HR professionals can use it to search a person's name and gather information from various sources. For example, an HR tool with the SERP API can integrate background checks into its workflow. By retrieving real-time data from search engines, and generates a comprehensive background score. This helps HR teams assess an individual's online presence and make informed decisions.
  3. Advertisements: Retail stores can use the SERP to better understand local inventory and competition by analyzing search engine results pages (SERPs). For example, a retail analytics tool could scrape SERPs to show users details about nearby competitors' online ads, such as the types of ads being run and content from their blogs or websites. Such data can help retail stores gauge product demand and availability in their area and adjust their inventory and marketing accordingly
  4. Travel: Travel agencies can integrate SERP in their booking systems to display real-time flight and hotel availability, allowing users to make reservations directly from the search results page. For example, a travel booking app can help users with detailed information and recommendations for specific destinations.

Main Approaches: Libraries and Cloud APIs

There are two main ways that organizations and developers are able to incorporate SERP into their websites and applications. These approaches are: Using open source libraries or using Cloud APIs.

Open Source Libraries

While there is no specific library for SERP, there are some web scraping libraries that can do the Google Search Page Ranking. One of them which is quite famous is Scrapy - It is a fast high-level web crawling and web scraping framework, used to crawl websites and extract structured data from their pages. It offers rich developer community support and has been used by more than 50+ projects.
When it comes to libraries, the problem is always the same: While they could be suited or even ideal for certain projects (primarily medium-scale projects), there is always a limitation since they are always linked to a specific tech stack. For example, while finding a library on Java might be relatively easy, there are certainly fewer robust libraries available for other programming languages. On top of that, another limitation of libraries is maintenance. So, a user of a library is always dependent on someone regularly maintaining and updating the library to stay compatible with new language versions and fixes.
This is where cloud APIs come into the mix. Rather than relying solely on libraries, cloud APIs allow you to access powerful pre-built services over the network through simple API calls.

Cloud APIs

ApyHub: ApyHub's SERP Rank Checker is a cloud-based API that enables you to check Search Engine Results, Users can simply pass the search query and you will get the result for ranking of the pages. It offers up to 2 million API calls on a free plan. You can even use the visual API Playground to test the output beforehand.
SERPApi: SERPApi is a powerful tool that provides developers with an easy and efficient way to extract search engine results page (SERP) data using API.
Bright Data: Bright Data, formerly known as Luminati Networks, provides a comprehensive data collection service ( APIs) to gather web data.
DataForSEO: DataForSEO aggregates data from search engines, marketplaces, review platforms, and billions of other websites to provide you with unique insights for building innovative digital marketing solutions.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the SERP ranking score can assist in finding the ranking of search queries given by users. The approach and ways of integration depend on the use case and requirement.
To find the SERP rankings, there are tools available. On a programmatic level, APIs like the ApyHub API can help developers incorporate the SERP API into their applications and automate the process.
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