To paraphrase an old quote, Change in the world of Google search is constant, but that doesn’t make it easy.
The new Searchmetrics Universal & Extended Search Study highlights important new trends every SEO and online marketer must understand to succeed:
- The number of organic search results in mobile search has fallen to 8.5 from 10.
- Variety is the spice of life for Google; news boxes, Knowledge graphs, Twitter cards and more are now part of its results lexicon.
- There is a significant and growing difference between results seen for smartphones and desktop.
- Extended Search integrations are an opportunity to garner additional organic traffic.
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 blends listings from video, images, news and local search on results pages, creating rich media pages on top of organic and paid search. Three quarters of all keyword queries were enriched with such Universal Search snippets throughout the year 2014.
AMONG THE HIGHLIGHTS OF UNIVERSAL & EXTENDED SEACH STUDY, YOU’ll FIND:
The Changing Face of Desktop and Mobile Search
News, maps and video integrations have declined on desktop while rising on mobile as Google increasingly optimizes its results for the different platforms and characteristics of user searches.
The Rise of Extended Search
Extended search represents both opportunity and loss for online marketers. On both desktop and mobile, organic search increasingly is competing with:
- The Knowledge Graph
- (Mobile) carousel
- Twitter Cards
- Direct Answer/Fact Box
- Related Questions
- (Mobile) App Packs
The vast majority of video integrated in the search results are from YouTube. Universal Search integration requires working through YouTube to optimize videos for organic search.
Gone are the days where optimizing for search was a simple technical process. Marketers must plan their strategies based on which platforms their current and potential customers use most; they must develop resources to handle Extended Search integrations and understand how to optimize for each in ways that Google will consider useful.