Google Expands Universal Search

Google’s year old Universal Search has evolved and now covers 10 spots on the page and blog and shopping search results are some of the new resources added. What was aimed with Google’s Universal Search is that web search results got evaluated against other search types (not just other web search results) but also against images, news, videos – all based on relevancy. That type of comparative ranking, along with the blending within the regular 10 listings area was part of the change.

However, at the end of last year, Google no longer used one-to-one replacement of say a web listing spot had to be taken away to make space for a vertical search listing. Although that could still be used, blending now includes vertical results to web search results without removing web search listings. In Local Search for example, a search for Miami dental education, the local results were on top of the page but after Universal Search they may remain there or at times are blended further down i.e. in the middle of the page.

Google is also super-sizing blended results. For example, we observed 10 local listings on top and then 10 web search listings after that. That makes is 20 listings in total. Normally, there are only 10 listings so that is another change that Google feels that it is important to add a lot of relevant content from a specific vertical to enhance the results. Moreover, blended results can be seen on top, in between and bottom, just like they did before Universal search roll-out. Certainly, blending will continue to evolve and we’ve even seem some tests where verticals results appeared in the right column. So, we remain tuned in, watching future changes, as usual.

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