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What's New In The Google World? Google Universal Search

Over the last few quarters, Google has been gradually rolling out a blended search model (called Google Universal Search) that provides users a more integrated and comprehensive way to search for and view information online involving more than just typical text-based search results. Universal Search incorporates information from a variety of previously separate sources including videos, images, news, maps, books, blogs and Web sites into a single set of results. For the average Google user, this means that depending on the query, you may be provided with various forms of media. For example, a user searching for information on Indiana Jones is likely interested in all the information related to the character and the actor, not just web pages that mention the movie. With Universal Search, Google now delivers a single set of blended search results that include a Saturday Night Live parody, images of the character, Indiana Jones gear, blog posts, as well as Web sites focused on the actor Harrison Ford – all ranked in order of relevance to the query.

Universal Search brings several benefits to searchers by providing more helpful and complete information. A searcher no longer has to specify the media he or she is looking for – one keyphrase search will cover multiple media types. The results from a search will be more comprehensive in many instances, giving all-inclusive results to the searcher that may include better information than would previously have been found. This means that there is a greater possibility of finding the answer you are searching for faster, after performing only one search.

The drawback of Universal Search is that it can muddy the results and it can also introduce irrelevant results. A search for "Paris Hilton" will bring up news, videos, and other information about the heiress. It will also bring up a map of the city of Paris showing locations of Hilton hotels, something most searchers that typed that exact phrase probably did not have in mind. Additionally, there is no way to turn off Universal Search as it exists right now. It is included in the standard search, eliminating the ability to simply search web pages and introducing a new hurdle in search engine optimization efforts. Now, a Web site is competing not only with other Web sites, but also with all the other media that will be included in the results that an average searcher sees.

Apogee Results is equipped for the potential issues that Universal Search may have on your SEO campaign. We will analyze your industry and Web site to figure out which types of media might be most important. For example, if you are a real estate firm, images of the buildings and homes you are selling might become a very important part of your Web site, so we will focus on optimizing your images so that not only does your Web site show up for certain keyphrases, but your images do as well. If you are a business services firm, we instead might focus on news items produced by your company, including press releases and white papers, and make sure that those are available to search engine spiders and optimized for critical phrases. Net net, across any industry and with the potential hurdle of a universal search model, Apogee Results can optimize your Web site to drive qualified traffic to your site, with an overall goal of increasing your site revenue.

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"During the time Apogee has been managing our search campaigns, we have increased sales volumes and ROI. We consider Apogee an important partner for our ongoing success."