Taking advantage of universal search

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Yesterday, at Searchology, we unveiled exciting changes in our search results. With universal search, we've begun blending results from more than just the web in order to provide the most relevant and useful results possible. In addition to web pages, for instance, the search results may include video, news, images, maps, and books. Over time, we'll continue to enhance this blending so that searchers can get the exact information they need right from the search results.

This is great news for the searcher, but what does it mean for you, the webmaster? It's great news for you as well. Many people do their searches from web search and aren't aware of our many other tools to search for images, news, videos, maps, and books. Since more of those results may now be returned in web search, if you have content that is returned in these others searches, more potential visitors may see your results.

Want to make sure you're taking full advantage of universal search? Here are some tips:

Google News results

If your site includes news content, you can, submit your site for inclusion in Google News. Once your site is included, you can let us know about your latest articles by submitting a News Sitemap. (Note News Sitemaps are currently available for English sites only.)

News Archive results

If you have historical news content (available wwithout payment or by subscription), you can submit it for inclusion in News Archive Search.

Image results

If your site includes images, you can opt-in to enhanced Image search in Webmaster Tools, which will enable us to gather additional metadata about your images using our Image Labeler. This helps us return your images for the most relevant queries. Also ensure that you are fully taking advantage of the images on your site.

Local results

If your site is for a business in a particular geographic location, you can provide information to us using our Local Business Center. By providing this information, you can help us provide the best, locally relevant results to searchers both in web search and on Google Maps.

Video results

If you have video content, you can host it on Google Video, YouTube, or a number of other video hosting providers. If the video is a relevant result for the query, searchers can play the video directly from the search results page (for Google Video and YouTube) or can view a thumbnail of the video then click over to the player for other hosting providers. You can easily upload videos to Google Video or to YouTube.

Our goal with universal search is to provide most relevant and useful results, so for those of you who want to connect to visitors via search, our best advice remains the same: create valuable, unique content that is exactly what searchers are looking for.