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SEO: How source types influence the SERP?

Many content marketers and SEOs follow a similar playbook:

They study search engine results pages (SERP), read ranking informational articles, and develop a strategy to outrank them by creating similar content.

But according to Dan Taylor, this method is becoming outdated. It ignores the most important element: source types within the results page.

“Wait… what are source types, and why do they matter?” Apparently Google doesn’t only identify the article context—it looks at the entire domain to understand search intent.

Then, it

  • Example A: Dan lists results for “rotating proxy manager query,” and explains that two domains—Oxylabs and Zyte—will appear above every other domain on the diverse first page, simply because they’re commercial websites with lead generation as main intent.
  • Example B: The “pardot alternative” query shows 10 informational, non-commercial articles on the first page, such as Capterra blog and GetApp. This is because Google understands the “x alternative” query is intended to inform, not to sell.

So if your website is a “pardot alternative” SaaS, it won’t appear on the first SERP organically, no matter how great the quality of your content for the keyword.

Knowing the source types Google prefers for specific queries will help you determine if they’re profitable terms for you to target or not.

How to help Google understand your website’s source type: According to Dan, it’s all about topic clustering and frequency.

It’s why you’ll see high authority informational websites like Capterra ranking on the first page for a wide range of different tech queries.

You need to design a solid information architecture on your website that enables bots to seamlessly crawl your pages.

You’ll also want to create clickable, high-authority assets for non-brand search terms.

Makes sense, right? By better understanding source types on the first page, you can produce effective strategies and forecasts that drive better results, quicker.

Test it out, let us know how it goes!