SEO for Google Universal Search

Earlier this month, Google unveiled a brand new “Universal Search” system, a radical change to its search outcomes pages that may floor listings from its information, video, photos, native and e book verticals with a lot better frequency. This article considers how the webmaster ought to reply to this innovation, contemplating each conventional “asset optimisation” and particular methods for Universal Search.

What is Google Universal Search?

So-called “Universal Search” is a system which can expose, far more typically, Google photos, video, information, native and e book searches alongside common search outcomes. These so-called “search verticals” have thus assumed a a lot better share of SEM consideration in latest instances and, with this, the theme of asset optimisaton. Universal outcomes seem both by the (acquainted) OneBox hyperlinks on the high of the SERPs or by inclusion within the common outcomes themselves.

Universal Search is, in reality, nothing new. Anyone who has used the search engine (from Amazon) shall be accustomed to search engines that show outcomes from completely different verticals alongside one another. Recently, have additionally rolled out their Ask3D idea, which equally (and maybe extra elegantly than Google) shows outcomes, as they put it, “across the three dimensions of search: Expression, Results and Content”. Ask, certainly, offers a good suggestion of the place Google might go sooner or later:

Whilst Ask is a sure winner for presentation, it solely has a tiny share of the search engine market. However, when Google (as market chief) start to roll out one thing, folks are inclined to take far more discover. Indeed, the elevated maturity of the online most likely signifies that the time for Universal Search has certainly come. We will watch these developments with curiosity. However, suffice to say, profitable SEO sooner or later must take account of the position of belongings (notably video) all through the Google verticals.

Optimising Asset Metadata: Office Files

In future, when folks search on Google, they are going to get an ever wider vary of outcomes, together with extra hyperlinks to movies, photos, information, maps and books. Let s begin, nonetheless, with a problem that has all the time been there – and has typically been given inadequate consideration by the common webmaster; the optimization of Word Documents, Excel Workbooks, Powerpoint Presentations and Adobe PDF information.

Try typing a Google Search on Tony Blair filetype:ppt and have a look at the outcomes. You will most likely discover that, while among the end result hyperlinks make cheap sense, many others are within the nature of “slide 1” or “Lecture 29”. This is as a result of Google makes use of the title discipline from the properties meta-data. The description discipline is drawn from the physique of the doc. The similar precept works for Excel information, Presentations and PDFs.

If you carry Adoble PDF and different workplace information in your web site, I like to recommend revisiting every in flip and utilizing the menu merchandise file-properties to enhance your metadata; (a) add a significant title, (b) add a topic, (c) add key phrases, and (d) if you happen to can, change the filename of your asset to additionally embrace your key phrases. For instance, tony-blair-iraq-dossier.ppt is healthier than plagiarism-v1.ppt.

Optimising for Google Video

Search Engine Optimization for Video, because the launch of Universal Search, has turn out to be probably the most thrilling challenges within the discipline. Getting it proper is remarkably easy – and in some ways merely an extension of the identical rules now we have seen for optimising MS-Office information (so start by utilizing a keyword-rich file title and title – from the file-properties abstract tab in home windows explorer).

Google Video helps the add of AVI, MPEG, Quicktime and Windows Media information (so almost all of the extensions you re used to). The body fee must be above 12 frames per second and the bit fee must be above 260kbps. Google will crop your video to suit inside a 4:three body and show it at 320×240 decision utilizing a Macromedia Flash object. As such, if you re making ready your video from scratch, attempt to use the 4:three side ratio (to keep away from arbitrary letterbox cropping points).

There are two methods to get your movies onto Google Video. If your video file is beneath 100 MB, the simplest and quickest solution to add it s to make use of Google s web-based uploader (at If your video is over 100 MB or if you would like to add a number of information directly, the Google Video Uploader shopper software program is your greatest wager (presently at As a tough information, retaining your video to 4.5 minutes or much less ought to make the entire course of rather a lot simpler!

Note that, if you happen to add from the web-based interface, you possibly can specify upfront the title, description, style and language of the file. For the title discipline, merely repeat (maybe at better size) the title you used for the file properties dialogue. For the outline, comply with the identical rules we lined within the meta-description tag part. Select an applicable style (e.g. “business”), set entry to public and click on to add your video.

Once your video is up on Google (or YouTube) you possibly can get hold of code to insert the video into your internet web page. Usefully, this implies Google are internet hosting and serving the video relatively than you (saving in your computing energy and bandwidth costs).

This is the Wild West frontier of SEO, so take pleasure in your self. You might discover this to be your quickest route into the highest 10 (not less than in the interim, till the spammers pay money for it!) Put in just a few inbound hyperlinks to your video, get mates and colleagues to vote for it on Google Video and see what occurs. You may shock your self.


There is extra to Universal Search than Office information and Videos; on my weblog, I contemplate in better element the SEO of Products (by Google Base) and optimising for Google News. In an earlier article, I reviewed optimising for Google Earth and Google Maps by the usage of KML information. For extra assist, bounce onto my discussion board – and good luck along with your Univeral optimisation efforts!

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