Home » Internet

The Basics Of Universal Search

Nov 13, 2007
Universal Search has recently become one of the most widely talked about topics in Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google is, once again, a culpable party in this increased exposure. Ask was one of the first search engines to introduce universal search, and a number quickly followed suit. It wasn't really until Google introduced a similar aspect to its search portfolio that the online marketing industry stood up and took notice.

What Is Universal Search?

Search engines have, for years, indexed textual web pages. When a surfer searches using a particular keyword a list of web pages that are deemed relevant to that topic are displayed. For years, search engines have displayed only textual pages because that is all they have really been capable of indexing. Universal search looks at much more than just the text on a page in order to generate its results. Images, video, blog posts, and news articles are among the results now displayed.

Universal Or Blended Search?

Ask 3D is referred to as universal search because it displays a separate list of results for each of the different media and page types. In comparison, Google Universal is more of a blended search because it combines all of the results together into the now-familiar list of 10 results. For the average web user, these new search portals mean a new dawn of search. The same is also true for marketers. Website owners face problems, challenges, and potential opportunities.

- Problems can arise for pages that had previously ranked well in the search engine results. It is possible that those pages would have now been pushed down the results by video, images, blog posts, and news items.

- The challenge is to create such a rich variety of content, and to optimize the resulting media for the search engines' benefit. It may mean more work, but the harsh reality is that it is necessary work for the astute Webmaster that wishes to traverse the search engine results.

- Of course, opportunities exist for those that are willing to do the work. Video clips are surprisingly easy to make and need not consist of more than a product being used, or a designer talking about the biggest benefits of a new product. Add some audio, and edit the images, and you have a video clip ready for universal and blended search.

Worth The Effort

The marketing industry is yet to fully latch onto universal search engine marketing. Some do provide it, and there are certainly services available to help with each of the various aspects, but there are very few companies that specifically target it. If you are willing to put in the time or the resources then you could be perfectly placed to take advantage before everybody else.

Optimization Processes

The processes for marketing some of these types of media are yet to be fully explored. News items and blog posts are essentially textual content and so can be optimized in the same way as normal page content. Images should have a keyword rich file name and Alt tag, and should be submitted to some of the major image sharing sites with similarly keyword rich descriptions (and a link to the page on your site where it is featured). Video footage should also use similar optimization rules.

Universally Speaking

High speed broadband connections have made online multimedia a reality. Gone are the days of boring, chaste textual content. Video, images, audio, blogs, and news articles are among the more popular forms of online content and the major search engines have tuned into this trend. Universal or blended search provides searchers with lists of each type of media and also presents the website owner with the potential of optimizing a greater portion of their website to appear in the search engine results.
About the Author
Omaro Ailoch is a senior software engineer, an entrepreneur and the founder of OC IT Services a highly skilled California based web development, design, and search engine optimization firm.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 120
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories