Introduction to Universal and Vertical Search

Universal Search or Blended Search is the integration of images, videos and results from other vertical search properties directly in the main search results. Google introduced universal search within it’s search results in 2007 to provide additional and relevant information from other mediums.

Vertical Search is the term used for speciality or niche searches that focus on a limited data set. Examples of vertical search are images, videos, maps, news and blog searches. Having high placements within verticals search can result in to high placements in search engine results. The most commonly used verticals are listed below.

Image Search

A significant amount of traffic can be generated from image search, its typically less competitive than general search and well optimised images can:

  • Build reputation – images of products, services, etc can assist consumers during the research phase in their shopping experience.
  • Increase Search Visibility – if well optimised the images might appear more frequently in Universal Search.

Local Search

The opportunities for local search are gaining in popularity, with the major search engines investing heavily in providing directory information. Local Search results provides information such as business name, address, telephone and web address. Google has recently combined local search verticals with organic search.

Products Search

By submitting your physical products via data feeds to Google Base can increase a website visibility in the search engines and build your websites reputation. The top three results for products are sometimes shown in the main results page. This is typically appears at the top middle or bottom of the search results page.

News and Blog Search

News Search retrieves information in real-time and provides almost instant responses. These results are shown in order of freshness, relevance or popularity. To have a chance of receiving traffic from News Search you will need to generate timely and topical stories on a regular basis.

Blog Search – blogs are publishing platform that allows you to write articles on a regular basis. Blogs are social in nature enabling reader interaction in the form of comments and cross linking between other bloggers citing each other. Blog posts are ranked depending on the relevance of the content, blog authority and also the freshness of the content.


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