SES New York: Changes in the Search Landscape
March 24, 2008
brightest event that took place during the past week was Search Engine Strategies
conference held in New
York. There were presented insights on topics
encompassing organic optimization, PPC, usability, ROI tracking/analytics, link
building and much more.
Tuesday's Orion Panel
on universal search was amongst the most debatable discussions of the forum.
For those of you who are not familiar, Google's Universal Search combines
traditional text search results with videos, news, maps and other data.
James Lamberti, Senior
Vice President of Search and Media at comScore presented statistical analysis
illustrating the new way of searchers' interaction with search results and ads, and the impact of the new search interface.
The analysis showed
that in only one week in January, of 1.2 billion search queries at Google, over
220 million search results included one or more videos, news, maps, weather,
stock or image results. That means 17 percent of all searches on Google ended
in some type of Universal search.
Of the 87 million
people who searched during this week in January, 57 percent received universal search result. Of those, 38 percent
saw a video result, 34 percent saw news, 19 percent saw images, and 9 percent
saw multiple types of results.
The experts are
convinced that the expectations of the searchers are
changing because of their growing familiarity with the rich interfaces provided
by web 2.0 sites. Most probably these searchers would demand more than the “ten blue links” format traditionally offered by Google, which might
turn out to be quite insufficient.
also unveiled that the number of clicks on Google's AdWords reduced each time
when the result page included an Universal Search element.
Kevin Ryan, who was the
moderator of the Universal Search session, expressed his opinion and
observations at Search Engine Watch stating that “the search result page is
transforming from a directional guide to a destination. In other words, there
are fewer ads appearing, which means fewer clicks. Fewer clicks mean fewer
dollars for search sites and increased competitive activity in search results”. Thus the practice of SEO will become more and
John Battele noted that Google became a destination and saw a conflict between Google's pure navigation service and its media-company aspirations.
Through Universal results Google delivers more of its content to searchers. Google sent nearly 400 million search referrals to their
own multi-media properties. That includes 148 million referrals to YouTube and
173 million to Google Images. Battelle also observed that for stock queries Yahoo
Finance, which used to be at the top, now is left far behind Google Finance. It is logically to suppose that online properties that deliver content and compete with
Google's niche might experience difficulties trying to be top exposed in
SEO companies and
marketers are now facing the challenge of changing conditions in the
web search environment. What is going to be the real impact of the universal search which is still in its "test" phases, I hope we will find out soon.
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