1. Is someone at Google testing out a new method of displaying search results?
2. Is Google’s Universal Search about to hit Europe? And
3. Will 2008 see further domination of the search results with Google’s own products and services?
We’ve already started to see the addition of Maps and Local listings, product results, YouTube videos, images and blog results – which have predominately been placed at the top of the search results –
Here is a search for “Spiderman Video” – not ideal if I were looking for an old VHS
Such speculation is given credence, I feel, by a search I conducted earlier this morning, for the term, “Lead Generation” to which I was presented with a number of Product Listings and Blog Results at the foot of the page.
This is strange I thought… but in hindsight, Google has perhaps two distinct groups to keep happy. The users, who demand the most relevant and quality results related to their search term – who might possibly welcome the addition of this feature, particularly as it is at the foot of the page so as not to interfere with the main index – in addition to the shareholders who stand to benefit from the increased use of Google products and the associated advertising revenue.
We’ll have to see how this pans out, whether it is just a test, and indeed, if Universal Search (and its associated features) is rolled out, whether users will be able to alter their preferences to filter our particular results.
But irrespective of your own personal view on the results and whether it enhances your searching, it certainly presents the idea of ‘getting ready’ for Universal Search, so as not to get relegated to the 2nd page.
So make use of all the tools to your full advantage in terms of Local listings for your business, Video Content, Product Listings, News results, Image optimisation and Blogs.
After all, when, or perhaps if, Universal Search hits Europe, isn’t it better to be prepared?