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Blended Search Strategy; SEM Synergy

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:52

Ok, here's the gig. I am doing a stint on SEM Synergy (via Webmaster Radio) on universal / blended search strategy and thought to put some goodies here as referenced for the spot. You see, over the last 6 months we had been noticing that many of our members really didn't have experience nor strategies in place to make the most from Universal Search. In fact, very few seemed to be even considering it.

So we ran a few (public) polls which lead to this post; on universal and the SEO world.While many target local, the rest seem under served.And Video, being one that many see as a weakness.

It was somewhat surprising to me that it was so poorly understood and targeted. It almost seems to signal that many SEOs are becoming tool junkies and don't actively take a SERP-out approach (understanding the query space and elements therein). Because if they did, it would have become quite obvious that elements such as Video, News, Blog search and to a lesser degree social, real time and images, should be a part of their ongoing strategy.
(actual broadcast is now here)

Some Data points

So, a few little points of interest we came up with along the way, (although older, take that for what you will);

"Deeper analysis indicates that search engine users click "news" results more than twice as much (36%) within blended search results as they do when they use the vertical "news search" (17%), and click more "image" results (31%) within blended search than when utilizing vertical "image search" (26%).

The extent to which they report clicking "video" results within blended search results (17%) also far exceeds the percentage of users who click a vertical "video search" result (10%). Only 19% of search engines users report that they have not clicked a news, image, or video search result within the blended search results. This compares to 35% who have not used vertical search. "

We can also note -

Comscore Report covered by SEW
“That data, gathered during one week in January, showed that there were
220 million universal search results, of the total 1.2 billion search queries in the U.S.

That means 17 percent of all searches on Google showed at least one result with video, news, images, maps, weather, or stocks. “

...of the 87 million people who searched during that same week in January, 57 percent of them saw some type of universal search result. Of those, 38 percent saw a video result, 34 percent saw news, 19 percent saw images, and 15 percent saw multiple types of results. “

Comscrore data, universal and blended

Comscore Universal search data

Measuring Universal

Just for some added googiness to this entry, I was looking around quite a bit for a tool that would be able to better analyze the SERP landscape beyond what was available. I was able to find that in the form of Authority Labs". Of the offerings over there one of the more interesting is the rank checker.

As you can see here there are handy little icons that denote the presence of Universal/Blended result found in the space.

Authority Labs Universal Icons


And you can also drill dow to see blended search history.

Authority Labs Universal History

I have been talking with Authority Labs management on some improvements such as actual placement of the blended results, but we'll save a more indepth look for another post. For now, be sure to check them out. Side note; graphs are also handy for watching QDF effects in various query spaces as well.

The interesting part is when you look at the aggregate of Universal results across your core terms. You will start to see what types of results are more prevalent and start to guide your strategy accordingly. If there is a lot of video, then maybe you should be considering that as part of your content strategy. We'll get back to that soon.

Googla Analytics

Another thing I thought I'd add to this post are a few goodies using GA that can also be part of the toolkit;

Tracking your traffic from Google Maps

Google Analytics For Local Search Part 1 of 7: Tracking Traffic From The 10 Pack

I shall be adding more, this is just some supporting material for today's broadcast. It was short notice... we'll get back to more of it next week and add link to broadcast as well. Be sure to Listen to the recording of the broadcast here

Cya in the SERPs

In the mean time, to keep ye entertained, some chatter from Matt

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