PubCon: Universal & Personal Search – This Changes Everything

Universal & Personal Search

Universal search has been touted as the biggest change to happen to search in recent years. Certainly universal and personal search have altered the search landscape to an extent, however to what extent is up for debate. In Universal & Personal Search: This Changes Everything, panelists moderated by Jake Baillie brought differing perspectives to the adjustments SEOs should make in light of universal search.

Brian Combs of Apogee Search began the session with an overview of Universal search. The biggest change, according to Combs, is that search is no longer just about text. Now images, videos, and local results can all rank, and rank highly, for any given keyword term.

SES San Jose: Universal and Blended Search

Universal and Blended Search
Last year at SES San Jose 2007, universal and blended search was the new thing going on in the background, and wasn’t really talked about in the sessions yet. Over the past 12 months, Google’s universal search and blended search has exploded across the internet. Everyone wants to know how to dominate the rankings on Page 1.”Let’s get pictures, video, local listings AND text results for my company all on one page!” Okay, no problem 🙂 Our expert panel in the first session of SES San Jose 2008 takes us through the basics and the future of blended search.

SES New York: Universal Search Panel

Universal Search Session

Today’s Orion panel at SES NY really took a different spin on the topic of universal search. I went in expecting to hear the same info  about what it is, how info is gathered and how to optimize for universal search. Which, if you are interested, can be read about in a previous SES Chicago post regarding universal search.

This session was moderated by Kevin Ryan and Mike Grehan. The session was lively and engaging. Panelists included:
John Battelle from Federated Media, James Lamberti from comScore, Lyndsay Menzies from Big Mouth Media and Jack Menzel from Google.

James led the group by presenting not-seen-before data about universal search from a study comScore recently conducted.

Of the 1.2 billion queries studied, 220 million contained a universal result, categorized as news, video, images etc.

Session: Google’s 5 Tips to Succeed in Universal Search

dsc00389.JPGAs mentioned in a previous post, universal search is a hot topic here at SMX West.

My first session of the day: The Blended Search Revolution revealed insights from the major search engines about how they are ‘compiling’ the universal search results and how companies should take advantage of the opportunity.

Universal search leverages new content such as news results, images and videos.

Specifically, David Bailey from Google shared these five tips (some obvious, some maybe not) to take advantage of the specialized results:

1. Publish high quality, well captioned images
2. Create a Google video sitemap
3. Update business listings in local business center
4. Submit your feed to Google product search
5. Create a high-quality company blog

Recession Proof Search Engine Optimization Tips


In this month’s Target Marketing Magazine, a TopRank authored article on how small businesses can gain a competitive marketing advantage by leveraging content promotion, blogs, social media and universal search was featured. Recently there has been some dialog and commentary on certain SEM channels about upcoming harder economic times calling for SEO to be taken back to the basics: “Textbook SEO” as Mike Grehan would put it. I disagree with the premise that companies should stop experimenting with new tactics and stick with the fundamentals. Effective SEO in any economic environment means getting more creative, not mundane.

“As search engines evolve with features such as personalized, social and unified search, so must marketers evolve — especially those on a budget.”

SES Session: Personalization, User Data & Search

Personalized Search Panel - SES Chicago 2007

Whether you’re part of the search industry or just affected by it, you’ve probably not only grown used to change but are excited by it.

Attending a session this morning about personalized and universal search, we had a panel full of excited folks and audience members all bursting at the seams to discuss what these two types of search bring.

Panelists included:

Greg Jarboe, President and Co-Founder, SEO-PR

Dave Davies, CEO, Beanstalk
Jonathan Mendez, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, OTTO Digital
Richard Zwicky, Founder and CEO, Enquisite
Aaron D’Souza, Software Engineer, Google
Bill Barnes, Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, Enquiro Search Solutions Inc.
James Colborn, Director, US Trade Marketing, Microsoft Corporation

SES Chicago: Traveling Locally To Ensure Clients Are Found Universally


While I am not native to Chicago (regular readers are well aware that TopRank Marketing is native to one of the 50 toughest states in the union – Minnesota) – it is a far more local journey than my last two excursions, to SES San Jose and the Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Conference in DC.

My objective at SES Chicago next week will be to both cover sessions for the benefit of our valued readers here at Online Marketing Blog and to learn as much as is possible in a short week about topics such as universal search and marketing with social media – what are best practices, what are the most powerful tactics?

Small Business Guide to Optimizing Universal Search

SMB Universal Search Engine Optimization
The buzz in the search marketing media and increasingly, the business press, on the importance of unified or universal search is gaining momentum and is unavoidable. Small and medium sized business web site owners and webmasters are now presented with the challenge of making sense out of the recent rash of search engine interface and functional improvements and how to adjust their online marketing efforts accordingly. Many are not sure what to do. Hopefully this short guide will shed light on the fundamentals and give some basic direction on next steps.

SEO Developments, Challenges and Tactics

UK based e-consultancy holds periodic round tables meetings with agency and client side search marketers to discuss issues in the industry with a report published afterwards. The most recent September report, which highlights a number of search engine industry developments, SEO challenges and tactics motivated me to write this post. Many of the issues in the report are on the minds of in-house and agency marketers world wide.

Here are a few of the issues discussed and my own thoughts as they relate to each with a nice little rant at the end:

Session: Universal & Blended Search

Universal search isn’t coming, it’s here. As searchers use their favorite search engine, they are seeing more than just web results. Movies, photos, news and much ore is showing up in regular search and you need to be ready.

Greg Jarboe of SEO-PR talked about how all the rules have been re-written and we need to learn how to use this to our advantage and watch it closely as it evolves. From a PR aspect, all press releases need to be optimized for search engines as they have a greater chance of showing up in the regular results that just a few months ago. Press releases also need to have pictures included as they can get picked up too. A quick search for Hillary Clinton on Google shows a few pictures that aren’t very flattering. Optimizing better photos could easily correct this, but not enough PR agencies are paying attention to the new universal search results. There are more items showing up than many people realize. Greg also stated that a blog post is quickly becoming the new press release in many industries.