In 2007, Google introduced its “Universal Search” system that was designed to blend the search engine results pages (SERPs), so that the traditional listings would be blended with news, video, image, local and book search results. This changes the way in which searchers find what they are looking for online, because it means that they will no longer just be clicking on the traditional organic listings but now have the opportunity to conclude their search through other forms of content.
Universal Search has now become a constant on the search engines, and in most searches it is uncommon not to see some image, video or news links appear, relevant to the search query. This blended search changes the way searchers look for information, so, for the same reason it should change the approach to an SEO strategy.
How do I get higher search engine rankings using SEO ?
Blended Search SEO
The way that blended search SEO works is by developing relevant content for the search engines in a different format than a typical web page so that it appears among the universal search results on the major search engines.
As the Internet continues to grow, searchers are expecting richer search experiences as well as relevant search results that are timely and can be quickly accessed. Searchers expect dynamic content and some of them may relate better to articles, press releases, videos, images or podcasts rather than traditional search results.
The great thing about blended search is that there are so many forms of blended search results, your business can adapt its blended search SEO strategy according to what works for you and your service offering.
Examples of Blended Search SEO
1. Local Search – For any local searches, being found in the local search results is invaluable for a business. Even small businesses, with limited budgets can grow their client base exponentially by appearing in the local search results.
2. Image Search – All businesses should be optimising the images that appear on their websites for relevancy. When a user performs a related query, your site will have a better chance of being found in the Image Results.
3. Social Media – It is difficult to miss how much social media is dominating the SERPs. As part of a brand awareness or reputation management strategy, having a company profile on Facebook, Twitter or MySpace can add brand awareness and traffic to your website.
4. Optimising Press Releases – Not only is this a great way to build business credibility but it is also another way in which your business can appear in the blended search results.
5. Blogging – Blog content is an increasingly trusted resource for finding information. Blog results are also highlighted in blended search results, so if your business has not started blogging, perhaps it is time to join the online conversation.