So, it looks like Google’s “Universal Search” is gaining steam. This is a good thing for those producing fresh, relevant content, and an, eh… maybe not-so-good thing for those expecting traffic from paid search to get the job done.
In his ClickZ column, Search Engine Marketing expert Mike Grehan–already pounced-on for declaring that “SEO is Dead”–explains why universal search is another nail in the coffin for Search Engine Optimization.
[...] I’ve written many times over the years that the term ["Search Engine Optimization"] is more suited as a description of a search-engine engineering function than the intermediate page-tweaking this industry provides.
Instead of trying to “optimize universal search” as the title suggests, Grehan recommends blogging and podcasting as the best ways to rank universally high:
[...] Google will be able to detect (with the tons of analytics and metrics data) which blogs and podcasts (audio and video) have large subscription bases. It could then integrate those elements into the SERPs along with the regular results, just as it’s doing with elements from Google Base and YouTube.
I have a feeling the really rich content sites, such as the 800-CEO-Read bookstore, with its focus on becoming a resource site full of books, blogs, podcasts, and other great editorial content, will become very popular with Google’s Universal Search.
Consider these Google results for “Web Analytics Demystified” (click thumbnail for full image). The organic links show everything you might want to know about Eric T. Peterson’s book by the same name. The paid links, by contrast, are a hodgepodge of stuff about “Web analytics.” Why would I click one of the paid links when my search was so specific?
Anyone care to demystify this for me?
Sure, it makes sense that SEO and Analytics firms might want to associate themselves with Peterson’s book. It just seems telling that nobody’s bidding on “Universal Search” (see thumbnail). And if “blog postings” aren’t important, as Jakob Nielsen insists, why would a single Search Engine Land post rank higher than everything Google’s ever written about Universal Search?