Home / Insights / What’s SERP?! An updated summary of the latest SERP features (Part 2)
25 November 2021
What’s SERP?! An updated summary of the latest SERP features (Part 2)
Welcome back to our updates What’s SERP!? Series, where we have provided an updated summary of the latest Google SERP features and how you can make sure your website takes advantage of them.
In part 1 we covered featured snippets, videos, FAQs, images and rich snippets, so if you want to learn more about them check out our blog.
Keep on reading to find out about updates to Google Ads, Shopping Surfaces, Podcasts, News and much much more.
What’s covered in part 2:
1. Google Ads
Google Ads are still a mainstay of the results pages and will appear for the relevant terms that people are bidding on. If you want to appear in these, you will naturally need to be doing paid advertising through the Google Ads platform.
In terms of major changes, our ‘three paid search questions of the month’ series from our PPC expert Dave will keep you covered with the latest technical changes, below we have included an example of the differences between ads in 2019 and 2021.
2019 Google Ad:
2021 Google Ad:
2. Google Shopping
Google Shopping remains a great way to get extra coverage for your products online and if you have the ads account set up in the right manner then you should be able to get a good return. There is not much to report on Google Shopping, apart from a big update to the context of the ‘ads’ earlier in the year.
Google shopping results now show organic results (Google Surfaces) which return unpaid results from sites.
3. Google Surfaces (updated for 2021)
This is a pretty big change. Early in 2021 Google announced that they would start showing organic listings within the search results. This provided a massive incentive for ecommerce sites to ensure their products were well optimised from an SEO point of view in addition to paid, although the optimisation rules are often similar.
If you want to find out more on how to optimise your site for the new Google Surfaces results then check out our article on Google Surfaces SEO.
4. Google Podcasts (updated for 2021)
Podcasts are a growing market and in 2020 Google recognised this and tried to capitalise on the increasing demand for this accessible form of audio content.
When it comes to SERP optimisation for podcasts, there are two areas you need to look at, Google Podcasts, and the Google podcasts featured snippet.
Google Podcasts are the new Google podcasts platform which functions in a similar way to other podcast providers, you submit your podcast (typically via an RSS feed) and it then automatically updates with new episodes as and when you add them to your podcast hosting platform.
The snippet for this can be seen below:
The other area you can optimise for is the podcasts featured snippet. These are trickier to rank for and if you are launching a new podcast they do take time to pick up. The results for this can be seen below:
To appear in this snippet you will need to have an optimised landing page for your podcast, ideally targeted to the podcast search term you are going for. Whilst Apple podcast pages can appear, you have much better control over the optimisation if it is on your own site.
To find out more on how to optimise for podcasts, check out our blog on podcast SEO.
5. Google News (updated for 2021)
Google News has seen another update in 2020 with the launch of the Google Publisher Centre. This new platform allows news sites to submit their relevant category pages to Google with the view of getting better coverage in Google News.
We recommend adding your site to this if you are a publisher as it may help you gain better coverage over Google and drive more relevant organic traffic.
In terms of optimisation, the same rules apply, create good content that is well optimised to target search terms, and monitor Google Publisher Centre for any issues and errors.
2021 Google News feature:
Google has been keen to pull tweets through to organic search for a while and the tweets snippet is helping them to do that. In terms of optimisation, using some basic SEO knowledge such as keywords and frequent posting could increase the chances of the tweets getting pulled through to Google, increasing your potential organic coverage.
2021 Google tweets snippet:
So that concludes our updated series on changes to the Google SERP results since 2019, as shown there have been plenty of changes to the snippets but the fundamental principles behind the SEO needed to get them has remained the same. Provide content that answers search queries and make sure they are well optimised for your target search terms.