Search engines have long been marching toward their goal of being one-stop shop for all types of search results. Not surprisingly, Google has been leading this movement since 2007 with their introduction of Universal Search. Prior to this, Google’s search results pages (SERPs) only listed down text results from Web pages. Today, however, Google instantly displays search results in various formats, such as images, videos, blogs, updates and news.
Universal Seach has been shaping how regular users search online for years, as well as how Internet marketers advertise online. While Google’s Universal Search has been extremely helpful for various purposes, it does have its weaknesses. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Universal Search compared to the old Google search.
Advantages of Universal Search
Information in various formats – Instead of clicking separate buttons for images, videos and maps, users can now get all the results they want in different formats on the main home page by clicking “Search Options.” All these results are arranged according to their relevancy and users have the option to further filter them according to the dates they were published.
One keyword for everything – Google users used to type in “pictures” or “videos” along with their main search terms on the search bar to get the results they want. With Universal Search, one click at the “Show Options” tab automatically generates lists according to their categories, including images, videos, blogs, updates and news. Thus, it is much easier for anyone to come up with the right results, no matter what his level of online search technique is.
More opportunities for SMM – Google reaching out to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook means more opportunities for social media marketers to bring their products and services to their intended customers. Executing the right SMM strategies should get you to Google’s SERPs if users click on “Updates” on the “Show options” tab. The “Updates” tab shows links from social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and FriendFeed.
More opportunities for SEO – All types of content are now usable tools for SEO, whether it’s blog, news, or microblogs. Since Google is pooling together all types of information and media, online advertisers and marketers have more tools at their disposal to sell products and services to their target customers. Think of Google as becoming a virtual marketplace for all commodities in the world.
Disadvantages of Universal Search
More risk of irrelevant results – While Google’s all-famous algorhythms are constantly improving, the vast number of search results in different formats can also sometimes yield more irrelevant results for the user. Thus, the user might have to learn more advanced Googling techniques to get the information he needs.
Switching to the older version is impossible – There’s simply no going back for Google users. They’ll have to learn to be savvy with Universal Search and learn how Tweeter, Facebook and other websites and functions work in order to use Google to its full potential. Simple webpage search is now permanently a thing of the past.
More pressure on businesses to improve SEO and SEM strategies – This is not really a disadvantage, but it is a challenge that many businesses may still be hesitant to take on – which will be a costly mistake. All types of media are now pooled together by Google, so all users subscribing to these media are in a virtual hub where they can easily be accessed by various businesses. Not taking advantage of this opportunity is committing business suicide and handing your competitors who have intensified their SEO and SEM efforts the automatic victory.
Google vows to further improve their Universal Search. Both regular users and Internet marketers should take note of such improvements regularly to accomplish what they wish to do more quickly and successfully. For more information on how your business can take advantage of Universal Search – please do not hesitate to contact us email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +345-925-8188