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Why Universal Search Is Important For Small Business Marketing

Category : search engine marketing

13

I came across an example of why I think it’s important that small business marketing departments pay close attention to the new trend of Blended and Universal Search. Blended and Universal search is an effort by search engines to include relevant news, blog posts, videos, images and other rich media content results into the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). To make my point, I want to highlight a recent, real-world example.

The day after I had written a post about Google Mobile Search appearing in my Adwords account, I wanted to get a little more information on the topic so I headed to Google and did a search on “Google Mobile”. I just tried the same search as I was writing this and the results have all changed which is a bit odd. But, nonetheless, the blended results caught my attention on the SERP. About midway down page one was a news result featuring some information about Google and their new search tool.

Screen shot of Google Mobile Search Result 1

Towards the bottom, were three results from Blogs that had posted on Google Mobile – including my post.

Screen shot of Google Mobile search result 2

So, what does this all mean for small business marketing? Google isn’t a “small business”, but the results on the SERP for this search highlight the opportunities small businesses have to compete for results on page one of relevant keyword searches. The game has changed and by starting now with rich media content, small business marketers have the opportunity to grab some of that valuable real estate on page one of search results. Here are a couple ways you can take advantage:

  • Optimizing images for search
  • Start blogging and writing relevant blog material
  • Be more diligent about press releases and making sure news outlets know your news is out there.
  • If it makes sense for your business, try some video production (keeping in mind that popular video is still mainly entertainment based).

What other suggestions do you have to take advantage of this new trend?


Comments (13)

Thanks Patrick! Jennifer turned me onto this post. Video in universal search has definitely been a success.

It happened sort of by accident, but I’ve received new clients from as far as New York for a small-business I own in Los Angeles, as a result of videos appearing in SERPs.

We’re seeing that the web is more than just pages. Images, video, blogs, PDF’s, products, listings … it all keeps growing enough to work them into the mix of SERPS. Then consider that Google has ownership in companies or internal products that hit upon all of these:
Video > YouTube and Google video
Blog > Blogger and FeedBurner
Products > Google Base and Google

So, the idea is to get into as many of these avenues as possible to get one of the roads to lead to you!

Um yeah … I meant to say Froogle after Products. :)

Hey Michael,
Thanks for commenting – very happy to hear that video is working out for you! I’d be curious to know if your video was for entertainment or if there was an educational element to it? I think when educational or “how-to” videos start popping up in search, alot more people are going to jump on board.

-Pat

Hey Aaron,
You nailed it – the more mediums you use effectively, the more opportunities you’ll get on page one. Now, the trick is to stay on top of all those mediums!

Maybe I’ll just get focused. One of the big guns could use a Universal Search Video Expert right?

Staying on top …or even in the loop is the challenge, great post Pat.

Pat,
The one that worked best was what I’d call an “edutainment how-to” video. What we did… Video on counter, showed what we do in the office, tossed a phone number and URL into video, uploaded to google video. It was quite amateur but gave an honest look into the office. Get in touch if you want more info, I’d recommend the approach to any small business.

Michael,
Thanks for the follow-up. I will contact you – I’m very curious now.

[...] Schaber over at Lonely Marketer addresses this issue in a post explaining why Universal search is so important to small businesses. [...]

[...] Schaber over at Lonely Marketer addresses this issue in a post explaining why Universal search is so important to small businesses. [...]

This is a great way to be included into the page one ranking without so much effort when optimizing for terms that has over 100,000,000 competing pages.

If i am not wrong, i think google is trying to list the relevant subpages thats in the main categories of the site displayed on the SERP.

But then again…maybe i am wrong…i just realised from your screen capture that those sublinks are to different domains other than from a single site.

I’m part of the marketing group at my small business, and I have definitely found that companies operating their own blogs do very well for themselves on SERPs. Aside from popping up in blended search, they also accumulate a huge number of backlinks that help jack up their pageranks. It’s tough to compete as a small business without one.