The Changing Face of the SERPs: 8 Out of 10 High Volume Keywords Now Have Universal Results

The Changing Face of the SERPs: 8 Out of 10 High Volume Keywords Now Have Universal Results

Please download the full Universal SERP research report here.

If you listen closely you can almost hear the old-time Search Marketer saying “In my day we didn’t have any of this digital search results business!  We optimized our pages, built our links and shot up the search rankings!”

But the good old days of search marketing are gone.  The legendary ten blue links are a thing of the past.  With the launch of universal search in 2007, digital assets began to permeate the search results and results such as video, news and shopping began to appear in the SERPs.  As we’ll soon see, the natural search results would never be the same.

81% of keywords we analyzed had universal results of some kind in their search results.

The evolution of the SERPs is starkly evident when we place the SERP for the query ‘iPhone’ in 2007 side by side with the one from 2011. In 2007, the classic ten blue links ruled the day, while in 2011, the SERPs are a collection of traditional and digital links including news, images, video and shopping.

 

How Concerned With Universal Search Results Should Search Marketers Be?

Just how pervasive have universal results become for high volume keywords?  We set out to gauge the extent of the SERPs evolution with the goal of answering the following key questions:

  • How frequently are universal search results appearing for high-volume queries?
  • For queries with universal results, what is the distribution of result types?

We analyzed more than 4,200 of the most expensive paid keywords.  High volume keywords from a broad spectrum of industries including Finance, Insurance, Travel, Retail, Education and more were represented.

8 out of 10 Keywords Have Universal Results

We found 81% of keywords analyzed had universal results of some kind in their search results.  News was the most common result type, appearing for 31% of keywords that had universal results.  Shopping (19%) and Video (15%) were second and third most common, respectively.

The Challenge for Brand Owners

The challenges for brand owners looking to maximize the revenue potential from natural search in the face of increasing universal results is something all search marketers should address.

  • The augmentation of classic results with a variety of digital asset results in increased complexity for search marketers when attempting to accurately track and demonstrate the success of SEO programs.
  • Increased volume and diversity of competitors to track, monitoring and report against.

However, there are immense opportunities available to search marketers who are able to harness the potential of universal search results across their organizations including:

  • Increase share of search and grow brand reputation by optimizing keywords and digital assets for the universal results.
  • Creating optimized digital assets such as videos and blogs that drive traffic and expand brand reach to new customers.

Utilize Searchlight to Maximize the Opportunities Available from Universal Results

Today, we are pleased to announce the addition of universal search results to Searchlight.  Searchlight is the first solution in the SEO platform market able to provide brand owners with a comprehensive set of features to:

  • Accurately measure and report success metrics across classic and universal search results for all your keywords including; Result page; Pixel position, Classic Rank, TrueRankTM , Rank Gap, Search Volume
  • Identify new opportunities to increase search shelf space with detailed universal search result categorization
  • View and analyze detailed representations of keyword search results as seen by potential customer

With Searchlight Universal Search features you’ll instantly have the ability to identify new opportunities, scale SEO across universal results, target specific keywords for digital assets and gain total competitive intelligence into the shifting search landscape.

Unlock the power of your digital assets to generate significant search revenue with Searchlight. Download our full Universal research paper from our resource center, and be sure to share our Universal Search infographic below:

About Nathan Safran

Nathan is the Director of Research at Conductor and leads Conductor’s research and content team. Nathan is a monthly columnist at Search Engine Land and Search Engine Watch. Nathan’s research on digital marketing has been widely covered in both industry publications and mainstream media such as Techcrunch, Venture Beat and the Washington Post. Prior to joining Conductor, Nathan was an analyst at Forrester Research.

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