SES Chicago: Soaring Through Universal Search

    December 3, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Searchers represent a valuable commodity to search engines, and the keen-minded technologists behind the algorithms want to make search sites as useful as possible, no matter what the query.

SES Chicago: Soaring Through Universal Search
SES Chicago: Soaring Through Universal Search

SES Chicago returns, and WebProNews is on hand to bring you reports and videos from the Windy City. Enjoy our coverage this week.

Universal search. Blended search. Vertical search. They all aim at one target: fulfilling visitors’ needs so that they keep coming back.

The speakers at the SES Chicago Orion Panel: Universal, Blended and Vertical Search, noted the need to fulfill the value proposition of search for visitors. Individual search intensity drives that need, with the average American performing 74 searches a month.

As the search engines become more creative with how they present results in the various approaches of universal, blended, and vertical search, opportunities arise for search engine marketers. SEMs have to be more creative to thrive with the options being presented to searchers.

The proof will be in the pudding, or at least the success rates. SEMs who use this ‘paid real estate’ well should enjoy better results than the competition.

Search engines will drive that success too. The essential search experience presents someone with a list of blue links. It’s a far cry from the typical social networking experience, which has indirectly nudged the search industry with its universal results.

Google has found its users like universal search, and the way results pull from multiple sources of relevant results. Microsoft’s work on improving relevance and blending results from other content has people spending more time on their pages. presents as much information as it can with its revamped, Ask 3D approach. Coupled with major spending by IAC on advertising, Ask has been able to hold its ground, even as Yahoo and Microsoft cede search market share to Google.

"In the next 5 to 10 years, search and browsing will be the same thing," Brad Goldberg from Microsoft told attendees. Jim Müller from Google said the universal search experience will become richer.

"Over time, those other search engines are going to be merged into Google and other search engines. Users want to go to a single search engine and have a query and then that stuff (like Google Maps) come up," he said.

The search experience isn’t tipping in a particular direction it seems; instead, it’s standing up vertically more and more, nice and straight.

WebProNews Internet reporter/anchor Kara Ratliff contributed to this report.



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