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A search engine results page (SERP) is a Web page that shows up after a user-generated search on a search engine. The resulting page displays the given results for a keyword search; from there, the user selects the most relevant page or other desired option, typically from a vertical list.
One of the big controversies that surrounds SERPs is the combination of organic and paid search results that may be present. Organic search results are those that are displayed according to what the search engine determines to be most relevant to the user's query. Other results, called paid search results, are displayed according to some financial arrangement between a search engine and a third party.
Another major aspect of analyzing a search engine results page has to do with minor variations in style. An SERP is essentially a specific type of user interface, and over time, major search engines like Google may change aspects of the interface according to user preference, market research or other factors. The analysis of an SERP as an interface can provide some insight into how Internet commerce works and which businesses, users and other parties benefit from a given SERP design.
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