New Study: Universal Search Integrations 2015

The most important results of the Universal Search Study are:

  1. 4 out of 5 Google search results display at least one Universal Search integration. The share of keyword searches that include these integrations has risen over the past few years.
  2. Google Shopping is the winner in the Universal Search results 2014. Product Listing Ads (PLAs), increased by 118%. At the same time, the share of keywords with Shopping integrations has more than doubled.
  3. 8 out of 10 Universal Search Video integrations are from YouTube. Competitors had to suffer corresponding market share losses in 2014.
  4. Google Maps integrations also increased. At the end of 2014 seven percent of all search results were enriched with at least one Google Maps integration.


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What exactly is Universal Search and what data was analyzed?

Since 2009, Searchmetrics has been studying Universal Search, or Blended Search. For a detailed explanation about Blended Search, including examples, please visit “What is Universal Search?”

Universal Search, also known as Blended Search, is the umbrella term for all media and snippets that Google displays in addition to the organic SERPs on results pages – including Videos, images, news, etc. Three quarters of all keyword queries were enriched with such Universal Search snippets throughout the year 2014.


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Three quarters of all Google search results exhibit at least one integration.


79 percent of all search queries were not only answered with simple SERPs, but also with additional Universal Search integrations. After being able to observe a slight, continuous rise in keywords with integration over the past few years, consistency is now clear in 2014.

Google Shopping is THE winner in Universal Search.

In the Universal Search for there was one winner in 2014 – Google Shopping, also called Product Listing Ads or PLAs. The absolute number of PLA Shopping integrations rose by 118% over the course of the year. Furthermore, the share of keywords with at least one PLA integration more than doubled, rising from 7% at the start of 2014 to almost 16% in December.

8 out of 10 videos in search results within Universal Search are YouTube videos.

Videos are the most frequent integrations in Universal Search. The share of video integrations by Google subsidiary YouTube had 8 out of 10. Competing platforms with moving image content suffered corresponding market share losses.


Google Maps integrations are also among the winners.

In January only 2.4% of search terms had Maps integration, however, by December 2014 the number had already risen to a 7% share of all integrations. The share of keywords with Google Maps integrations tripled throughout the year. However, the absolute figure of maps elements declined. Surely also due to the rising importance of local and mobile search queries, the tendency is moving towards embedding a map with fewer different results for each keyword.

Important Takeaway – Google is integrating its own products more and more into Universal Search.

It is striking that more and more often, Google is integrating its own services into Universal Search. In the area of Google Shopping the absolute figure of integrations of PLAs has risen by 118%. 8 out of 10 integrated videos are for Google subsidiary YouTube. And, Maps integrations have risen too. This means that the search machine increased the value of the Shopping and Maps channels for marketers.