I've worked in SEO company and I'm familiar with SERP term. I've moved to another company and in this company, we have an Elastic Search server which we send data to it and use it as search handler.

My colleagues insist the page which shows results in our site is SERP and using SERP for it is correct, but I think just search engines should call their result page as SERP.

Would you please clarify SERP term? Can every website which has a search box and searches result's page, are a search engine? Can you call every search result page SERP?

  • 1
    Search Engine Result Page - any web page that is returned with the results of a search query in a search engine.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 16:26
  • @closetnoc But are the search results generated by a single website, generated by a "search engine"? The search functionality in a website could be as simple as a few lines of code. Personally, I don't think it's necessarily wrong to call this page a SERP, however, I don't think it's particularly common either.
    – DocRoot
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 1:21
  • @DocRoot Using a search utility on a website still qualifies. Many are simple forms of a search engine.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 1:44
  • @closetnoc, even a simple WordPress site that has a search box and search result is a Search Engine really?
    – Yuseferi
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 5:28
  • @DocRoot , but it's not search engine, I don't know simple search in mysql table with like operation, can we call it Seach Engine?
    – Yuseferi
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 5:28

2 Answers 2


Site search certainly produces "result pages", so it all depends on whether you not you think your site search is powered by a "search engine".

Most of the definitions of "search engine" on the web are broad enough to include site search. They define a search engine as software than searches documents.


a computer program that searches documents, especially on the World Wide Web, for a specified word or words and provides a list of documents in which they are found.

Mirriam Webster

computer software used to search data (such as text or a database) for specified information


Search engines are programs that search documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found.

Under these broad definitions of "search engine" your site search results could easily be called "search engine result pages" or SERPs.

There is also a second definition of "search engine":

Mirriam Webster

also: a site on the World Wide Web that uses such software to locate key words in other sites

The Balance

A search engine is a web site that collects and organizes content from all over the internet.

If you think of a search engine as a website that provides search results for other sites, then it would seem odd to include site search results in the term SERP.

Your colleague is not wrong to use SERP for site search results based on the broad definition of "search engine" meaning software program. However, I would not use the term myself for it because so many people would think like you and be confused.

In fact, I rarely use the term SERP at all. I prefer just calling them "the results" or "the search results" which is short enough to say and doesn't require unfamiliar people to learn new jargon.


An internal search engine is still a search engine. And results it provides are search results, and page, where these results are provided, are search engine results page. No need for gatekeeping, as it's easy to understand which SERP people are talking about by analyzing context.

  • Even a simple WordPress website with a simple search box and just like query in MySQL table, really is it a search engine? in my mind search engine definition has some principles, gathering data from several sources, ranking algorithm etc.
    – Yuseferi
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 5:31

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