Visual Guide to Google SERP Features

SERP features are elements on the Google search results page, in addition to the organic search results, that enhance the user experience or provide supplemental information related to a user's search query.

This Visual Guide to Google SERP features is a comprehensive glossary of the SERP features, both mobile and desktop, and each entry includes a brief explanation of the feature and a screenshot of it.

Organic Result Features - Desktop

  • Image Thumbnail
  • Reviews (Stars)
  • Search Box
  • SiteLinks
  • Structured Snippets
  • Twitter
  • Video Thumbnail
Organic Result Features - Desktop
The Structured Snippets feature may appear in your search results if the website added structured Schema markup data to its webpages. The type of Structured Snippets that can appear include: How-to, Event, FAQ, Recipe, Video, Article, Product, & many more. In the case of a listed event, the feature may show along with a link to bring you to the event's webpage on the site. When the Structured Snippets feature does appear, it can be seen under the description displayed with each result.
Sites that make use of your personal data, such as credit numbers, for example, are encouraged by Google to use a more secure communication protocol known as HTTPS. As such, sites that make use of HTTPS are generally considered more secure and trustworthy, which is important information for users.

Google will indicate if a site is using HTTPS within the search results. Under the link for each result is the page's URL. Sites employing this protocol will display with "https" as part of the URL.
During a search, certain sites may display on the results page with a small picture to the left. This picture is known as an Image Thumbnail and gives you a sneak peek at the content displaying on the page. If you click on the image, Google will direct you to the page displayed in your results.
If a website showing in your results contains reviews/ratings that Google deems valid, Google may present its Reviews (Stars) feature underneath the meta description. The Reviews feature displays the rating on a 1-5 scale with both a graphic star and numeric representation. Also displayed is summary information that includes the total numbers of reviews or votes that comprised the rating, etc.
At times, Google will present you with the ability to do a search within the pages of a displaying website directly from the results page. When doing so, Google will present a search box under the meta description with the word "Search" followed by the name of the website displayed in light gray.

You can think of it like this: Instead of having to go to the site to use the site's internal search tool/box, Google, when displaying the Search Box, allows you to do so right from the results page. It's as if the website is showing its internal search box as part of the displaying result.
To help refine your search, Google may display the featured pages of a site as independent and clickable links within the result. Displayed under the result's description, these links take you directly to a page within the site.

Another way to think about this feature would be to imagine the homepage of a site and the directory presented (often at the top of the page). Instead of having to go to the homepage in order to use the site's directory and end up on the desired page, Google, via SiteLinks, enables you to access your desired page destination directly from the results page.
The Twitter feature on the results page presents you with a site's corresponding Twitter feed. This allows you to view the site's tweets directly on the results page.

Google's Twitter feature appears directly under the result. The feature has the appearance of being its own independent result with a clickable link to the site's Twitter page displaying on top of the page's URL (the way any result would show on the results page). Next to the URL, you can expect to find Twitter's icon.

Below the URL is a sliding carousel where you can glance at the site's recent tweets. Using the arrow buttons on the sides of the carousel, you can move from one tweet to the next. The time of the tweet's posting, as well as a direct link to the specific tweet, are also presented.
The Video Thumbnail feature is similar to an Image Thumbnail. Like the Image Thumbnail, it appears to the left of the result under the link to the site itself. It too, when clicked on, will bring you to the site's page.

The Video Thumbnail can be differentiated from the Image Thumbnail in that it is of rectangular shape (not square) and presents an inner rectangle (light black, bottom right) that displays a play button icon next to the length of the video.

Knowledge Graph Features - Desktop

Knowledge Graph:
  • Direct Answer
  • Carousel
  • Carousel (White)
  • Featured Snippet
  • Knowledge Panel
  • Explore Panel
  • Google Reviews
Knowledge Graph Features - Desktop
In addition to the search results Google provides you with, they may also include the Knowledge Panel feature. Appearing to the right of the results, the Knowledge Panel offers you additional information about the topic you have just searched for. Beyond offering additional topical information, the Knowledge Panel can present you with relevant images, other searches associated with the topic, links to associated information, etc. With such a vast array of information being presented, you can expect this feature to take up a considerable portion of the right-hand side of the results page.

Note, there are a variety of Knowledge Panel types that may display, including those that contain nutrition facts, recipes, etc.
Appearing most often when you enter a question into Google, the Featured Snippet feature presents you with a short summary of information related to your query. If Google thinks that you might be looking for factual information it may attempt to provide it for you without you having to scour the displaying results. As such, your query need not necessarily be in the form of a question for a Featured Snippet to appear, so long as Google has reason to believe that you are interested in acquiring some form of practical knowledge.

You might think of this feature as Google thinking, as well as acting on your behalf. Instead of you having to sift through the results to find the more suitable information, Google does it for you.

Google will comb through the possible results and determine which site presents the most relevant content. Google will then include a 'snippet' of actual content from this choice site and display it in a box at the top of the results page. Included in this box will be the link and URL associated with the site, should you wish to see more of the site's content on the subject.
Appearing at the top of the results page, above the organic results, the Carousel feature presents information that would most likely be found in list form. This one-row list is commonly left/right clickable via the arrows on either side of the carousel. For certain searches (like for songs), the results appear in a carousel in 4-in-a-row columns.

The Carousel feature predominantly displays images with ancillary text underneath each image against a white background. The carousel is commonly known to appear in relation to movie titles, musical artists, book titles, etc. Generally speaking, this form of carousel appears when there are more than four results to display within it.

Clicking on any of the items within the carousel is equivalent to performing a new search, causing search box at the page's top will now list to name of the item clicked. While the carousel will remain, the results under it will now be for the item you just clicked and not for the original search. As a general rule, a Knowledge Panel will display as part of the new results.
The Carousel (White) feature is very much similar to the Carousel (Black) feature in that it too displays information commonly found on lists, displays at the top of the page above any results, and is left/right scrollable.

The most noticeable difference between the Carousel (Black) feature is that this carousel displays results against a white, not black, background. Also, the Carousel (White) feature presents results in more than one row, making it a taller feature.

Inverse from the Carousel (Black), the Carousel (White) predominately displays written content with images serving as accents. Clicking on an item on this carousel is also the equivalent of performing a new search and will also display results related to the clicked on item (with the carousel remaining at the page's top). Common searches that bring this feature up are those related to song lists.
A Direct Answer provides a short answer to a query. As such, this feature is very much like a Featured Snippet. Like a Featured Snippet, a search does not necessarily need to be in question form for a Direct Answer to appear as long as Google thinks you are looking for something to be answered. When the feature does display it does so in the form of a gray-bordered box, often but not always, appearing above the results. Similar to Featured Snippets, the content shown in a Direct Answer does not come from a result appearing on the page.

At the bottom of the feature, a ‘People also search for’ list will often appear.

This list can appear in two ways.
  1. A list of questions: When this happens, cl