Universal Search And How It Is Going To Impact Your SEO

by Gary on July 11, 2007 · 1 comment

in SEO

Google’s Universal Search is a new search feature at Google.com that not just shows the web pages when you search for an expression but also shows related information in the form of blogs, images and videos. These features have existed on the Google home pages for a long time but they have been there as the “hidden tabs”. Most people use the default “Web” tab and ignore the other vertical search tabs such as books, blog search, news, images and videos. The universal search uses results from all these categories and then displays them on the first page. How does it impact your SEO?

Prior to this implementation your website had to compete with other websites to appear on the top 10 results. Once the universal search becomes a standard search feature, your website will have to compete with results from other sources too. The main worry that the search marketers have is, what pre-existing links will these results replace among those 10 results? There is only a limited space on the search result pages and some links will have to move to the next page to make space for these new results.

So how can you brace yourself for this new change? By spreading your SEO efforts over other realms too. For instance, you can create videos that describe your product or service, and then tag them with your keywords. You can similarly tag your images so that they are found during the searches. It’s already been discussed on this blog how important blogging is for your SEO. An excellent advantage of a blog is that you can post all sorts of media — text, images, maps and videos — in your blog posts and they can all contribute towards your business appearing on the first page of search results. The idea is that you should invest you time in other vertical searches too in order to compete with them.

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SEO Carly July 17, 2007 at 6:04 am

Speaking as a general web savvy user of Google, and not as a SEO i can’t say i’m too fond of Universal Search.

I know what media subset i’m searching for and i really don’t need Google throwing “noise” in to the results by providing content types i’m not after. If i’m using a slow dial-up connection i don’t want 5MB Youtube videos suggested when i’m looking for a simple paragraph of text. And for instance i don’t want maps of Paris showing me where the Hilton hotel is if i’m looking for Paris Hilton fan sites.


As a SEO it’s pretty good news. When it was first announced alot of SEO’s were on a downer because pages were getting shunted backwards in SERP’s in favour of other media types. But it provides many “outside the box” opportunities for a great presence in search. I’ve been experimenting with different media optimization and have 4 front page listings for the one test domain.

#1 Index Page
#2 Sub Page
#5 Branded YouTube video
#9 Subdomain

All from the same site.

It’s still early days for universal search, and Google are favouring their own media unfortunately.. Google Maps, YouTube etc.

So it’s a good time to experiment with SEO on these different media types because as time goes on i think we will see more assorted media being mashed up in SERP’s along with more refined Geo-Targeting and intuative Personalised Searches.