What is Universal Search?
SEO is a sector bogged down in a raft of terminology, so it can be easy for a something to pass you by. If during your ethical SEO research you came across the term Universal Search, also known as Blended Search, and had no idea what it meant then this is the guide to help you.
Universal Search arrived in 2007 when Google made one of the biggest updates in its history to its search engine. Soon after, rivals such as Ask and Yahoo started to launch their own versions and Universal Search became deeply embedded in how a search engine operates.
Traditionally a normal search would return solely text results. However, a Universal Search is designed to provide a richer experience to searchers and can return a lot more, including: images, news, local listings, shopping, video, blog posts, etc.
For example, type in a popular search term such as "Amazon Kindle" and on the first page of SERPs you'll not only get text results, but also shopping results, images and news relating to the product.
Universal Search completely changed the ball game for professional SEO services as it meant that, along with optimising for text based results, you also had to consider video, images, Google Places and news results as well. To get the most out of Universal Search, you do have to be optimising for all these aspects, otherwise it becomes much more difficult to improve your page rank.
The best way to optimise for Universal Search is to be ensuring that you are providing content for all these appropriate channels. If you launch a product, don't just turn out an image and text about the product. Instead, add a press release promoting your product and post it to PR sites. You could also add a blog post, release a video about the product and then push the content you've produced through social media channels.
If you follow these simple steps, they'll ensure that your business gets the most out of Universal Search.