At the recent Searchology
press conference held at Google headquarters, Google unveiled its latest search enhancement, appropriately titled “Universal Search”.
Universal Search will see Google updating its algorithm and interface to integrate all its various search verticals into one results page. So now when you enter a search query, relevant results from Google Maps, Google Images, Google Video, Google Blog Search, Google News and the other search categories will start appearing above the main web results.
Many of you will be asking why this is such a revelation.
Well it’s significant on two levels:
1. User Experience
From a searcher’s point of view, it makes the main results page more intuitive and user-centric. Universal Search removes the need to navigate to different pages to find “all” relevant content about a particular query. Whether you’re looking for a local business, or trying to uncover a new video, it can all be done from the one place.
Google have taken it one step further, by actually embedding the results into the page, so now you can drill down into Google Local listings, or watch videos direct from the search engine results page.
2. Search Engine Marketing
By integrating all their various search options into one results area, Google has also expanded the focus of search engine marketing. Where businesses in the past focused primarily on Organic Search Engine Marketing (Search Engine Submission and Search Engine Optimization) and Paid Advertising (Pay-per-click sponsored listings), now it’s equally important for them to focus on other search verticals.
Now, more than ever, businesses should be enhancing their exposure in sections like Google Maps (Google Local), Google Images, Google Video, Google Blog Search as significant improvements in exposure will be much easier in these less competitive verticals.
With the integration of other search content at the top of the search engine results page, it also presents businesses with the opportunity of getting that top ranking that might have eluded them in normal organic search engine marketing.
Our recent research into Google Local is testament to the opportunity that exists in focusing on other search verticals.
A search for “Hairdresser New York” generates 1,070,000 web results. However, the same search in Google Maps generates only 1,372 listings. So the odds of getting better exposure is much higher in Google Maps, and the best part is that top listings appear at the top of the web results anyway under the “Universal Search” model.
After all the interface testing that Google’s been doing of late, it looks like Universal Search is here to stay, and rest assured that the other search engines are likely to follow the trend shortly. So the key for online businesses is to go out and make the most of the new exposure opportunities that Universal Search offers.