22 Aug Universal Search impacts Google results on large scale
The introduction of Google’s “Universal Search” has had a large-scale negative impact on the natural results of many online retailers and vertical market websites.The goal of Universal Search is to make results broader, easier, and more comprehensive by combining search results from a variety of previously separate sources – including videos, images, news, maps, books, and websites – into a single set of blended search results.
Google’s vision is to search across all its content sources, compare and rank all the information in real time, and deliver a single, integrated set of search results that offers users precisely what they are looking for.”Our focus has always been making our users’ search experience as simple and straightforward as possible,” said Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google. “The ultimate goal of Universal Search is to break down the silos of information that exist on the web, and provide the very best answer every time a user enters a query.
The long-term affects of Universal Search will be good because this change is helpful for users. For example, a user searching for information on the Star Wars character Darth Vader is likely interested in all the information related to the character and the actor – not just web pages that mention the movie. Google will now deliver a single set of blended search results that include a humorous parody of the movie, images of the Darth Vader character, news reports on the latest George Lucas film, as well as websites focused on the actor James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader – all ranked in order of relevance to the query.
Users no longer have to visit several different Google search properties to find such a wide array of information on the topic.The short-term affects of Universal Search are chaotic, particularly for online marketers. They find themselves with more competition within ‘natural’ Google results.
Universal Search also turns the entire vertical search space on its head. By incorporating video, news, books, and images in search results, Google has become a serious competitor and threat to vertical market sites like monster.com, autotrader.com, and many others that, until recently, seemed bullet proof.Universal Search requires marketers to work harder online by increasing the influence of alternative media.
Marketers that successfully integrate alternative media – blogs, news, videos, and maps – into their online strategy will be more successful in Google’s natural search engine results.
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