There’s been quite a bit of buzz around Google Universal as if there was some earth shattering paradigm shift. While Google has announced the next phase of their search strategy, we SEO’s have been seeing and living with the evolution of this model for a while. Over the past year or so we have been seeing special information sections, dubbed Google OneBox Results (old news), creeping into general search results. Google has already woven in maps, news, images, weather, cars and other content within their primary results. So hopefully search marketing and optimization folks aren’t surprised to see Google formally announce this as a strategic direction (if so, shame on you).
So what does this mean to your business and your SEO programs? First, remember that the art and science of SEO is an integral part of your marketing mix, and think like a marketer. Online marketing strategies now need to extend across content verticals: web pages and text, images and video, news and content feeds, products and services, blogs and social media. It’s no longer just about creating and optimizing great web pages, but consider each type of content and ask how Google will find, evaluate, index and display it. As you develop your marketing communications strategy, overlay the Google model on top of it and make the necessary adjustments to maximize Google as a channel. Additionally, focus not only on site-side SEO and in-bound links, but begin to actively push content to Google. Be sure to take advantage of Maps, Sitemaps, Videos, News, Base and Blogs.
So, in the short term, continue core SEO activities to optimize your current web sites. Keep up your on-page and off-page optimization, monitor and respond to any algorithm changes, and submit your content to sitemaps, local maps, base, and any other applicable Google verticals. For the long term, make Google Universal part of your content strategy, developing content around each content vertical to maximize coverage. And of course, stay on top of industry and algorithm changes as they occur – optimize, optimize, optimize!