What Opportunities Emerge From The Introduction Of Universal Search?
Google’s recent changes provide less space for organic listings but more opportunities for companies willing to embrace broader promotional strategies.
Google has recently changed its approach to providing users with the most relevant web listings in the search results. Previously, users of the search engine were typically presented with a list of 10 organic webpages when they typed in a query. However, recent statistics show that the average first page of Google now only displays 8.5 of these organic results. So, why has Google changed its strategy once again?
As the digital world continuously changes, users rely on many different forms of media to satisfy their Internet activity. In recent history, web visitors would spend their time almost exclusively viewing standard websites made up of text and images. However, online users in 2016 tend to switch between many different forms of social media platforms, apps, videos and shopping sites as well as traditional web pages. Google has recognised the changing habits of its users and has responded by integrating many alternative components of search into key positions within the results. Roughly 15% of organic listings from each page have been bumped in order to make space for a more dynamic set of recommendations.
The new listings have been taken from various features of Google’s existing vertical searches. These are the options that have been available within the search engine to perform a specialised query of images, videos, books, news items, maps and even flights. Up until now, when a user selected one of these options, Google pulled results from a vertical search of these areas rather than performing its typical horizontal broad search of all types of web page. Going forward, the universal search ensures that all of these vertical searches are taken into consideration by merging them into the general search function.
Businesses Must Adapt
Just as Google has adapted their search results strategy to complement the shifting digital landscape, businesses who wish to develop a strong online presence must also recognise the change in consumers’ habits on the web.
Whilst there are fewer chances at having your company listed on the first page in Google within the organic results, there are increased opportunities available overall. Your business marketing team must prepare to find other ways to get your organisation’s content into the search results.
Naturally, being active on social media is a must and knowledge graphs are also a great avenue for well-known brands to explore. However, it is also important to pay attention to the increase in video viewings online. Around 23.99% of searches on desktops and 25.25% on smartphones include at least one video result integrated into the first page of Google for any search query. YouTube is the platform that hosts the majority of these videos, so any organisation would be wise to submit a clip to this free platform. Clickable thumbnails of the video are vital so that Google can read and access the keywords, title and description tags. It’s also important to encourage user interactions such as comments or likes so that the search engine can rank your video highly based on criteria within its complex algorithm.
It can be time consuming to keep abreast of current search engine optimisation trends, so always consider using a reputable agency such as SEO Essex Co to boost your profile online and ensure that your brand is visible within Google.