Searchmetrics has released a new study showing how universal search can help marketers in search visibility. This certainly isn't a groundbreaking concept. We've discussed this plenty in the past, but the firm shares universal search data, which it has used to try and identify which sites are dominating the top 10 positions of video, news, shopping, images, and map results.
The study is based on the analysis of th top 100 search engine results displayed by Google for a database of about 28 million search terms over a four-month period, Searchmetrics says. The timeframe was February to May.
Video results appeared in over 60% of all searches where universal search results are included in the top 100 listings. Images (coming in second behind videos) appeared in 30%, followed by shopping results at about 20% and news at around 10%. Judging from the following graph, it looks like Books were ahead of news, before dropping off in April.
"For a few years now Google has been bringing specific shopping, news, image, video, blog and map-based results into the general search listings it presents to searchers as part of what has been termed its ‘universal search’ strategy - it’s intended to help searchers find what they’re looking for more easily,” said Searchmetrics CEO Dr Horst Joepen. “We found that video and images are highly visible in Google searches when compared with other types of universal search content. So it makes sense for marketers to increase the volume of video and image content they’re creating and to optimize it both on their own sites and on third party sites such as YouTube and Flickr.”
“Interesting videos and images aren’t just good for your SEO, they’ll obviously also help make your site more engaging for visitors,” added Dr Joepen.
He says marketers should be thinking about creating things like client testimonials, interviews and product demos for video content.
Google has not made things easy on SEOs over the years. They are always changing so many things, it's hard to keep up. Add Google's personalization into the mix, and you never know who's going to see what in their results for any given query.
Universal search, though surely not its intended reason for existence, has proven to be something of a bone Google has thrown to websites. It's a shortcut to from page search results. If you can rank well for videos or images, for example, there's a good chance you will find your way onto the front page of Google's web results for some searches.