The launch of Universal search in May 2007 marked Google’s expansion and showed the world how extensive the search engine has grown. It was an unusual update since it involved algorithm changes as well as modifications to enhance user experience. Now, there’s more than just ten blue links in the SERPs; there are additional media like images, videos, maps, news, and Product Listing Ads or PLAs.
According to a Google blog post by Marissa Mayer, Universal Search was developed “to help you find the very best answer, even if you don’t know where to look.” She had already suggested this type of integration as early as 2001 and created the mockup that would serve as the basis for this feature.
The team’s primary goal was to remove the walls in traditional search and its properties by integrating all relevant information for a user’s query into a straightforward set of search results. It aligns with their overarching emphasis on relevance and giving users the best answer to their problem.
Additionally, they rolled out new navigation elements and experimental features that facilitate users’ quest for answers. There are the contextual navigation links located above the search results to narrow down options as well as a new universal navigation bar on top of all Google web pages for easy access to the brand’s products like Gmail.
Universal Search dramatically changed SEO. The struggle for improving relevancy in search results began with analyzing keywords to rank content then moved toward link analysis; next, came personalized results and, with this update, vertical or specialized search. This process, in turn, altered how content was made and how pages were ranked.
Google’s interface has come a long way now. The search engine’s development entails a challenge for digital marketers to optimize all aspects of their websites for search. However, this challenge also comes with opportunities for your brand to take over the top spot in the SERPs with the right strategies.
Currently, video is the most consumed digital media of users. Here are the ways to optimize them for your audience and search bots: