You may have heard – Google has introduced yet another change to it’s search results pages. Dubbed “Universal Search”, this update promises to be bigger than previous changes.
For more comprehensive coverage, screen shots, examples, etc.:
- Google’s official blog entry: Posted by Google’s VP of Search Products & User Experience. Features examples of searches that yield universal search results
- SearchEngineLand: features lengthy coverage, screen shots, etc.
- ClickZ “Will Universal Search Mean Universal Domination?”
In a nutshell – Google is blending even more of its listings from their ‘other’ search engines: news, video, images, local, etc. The new system officially rolled out yesterday, but not everyone will see the changes right away. In the search engine world – the search results pages have changed radically, but casual observers may not think it’s such a sweeping change since the user interface changes are subtle.
What are the ramifications for search marketers? As Google themselves put it “the best answer is still the best answer”. However, the nature of the answer has changed and for some searches, and there will be more competition for results page real estate. This means that require search marketers will have to be diligent in ensuring that ALL elements of a site’s content are optimized – from press releases to video to images. This means that site owners and SEO’s together will have to start thinking even harder about their target audience and the types of content that appeals to them beyond web pages.
If you are interested in participating in Google’s user interface experiments – you can opt-in @ GoogleLabs