Universal & Personal Search: A Changing Landscape

As the SEO landscape changes and more advancements are made for search engines to personalize the search process for users, SEOs and Internet marketing firms are having to make adjustments in their optimizations tactics.  The ways that the SERPs show results might be changing, but SEO companies and consultants are still expected to show success for their clients.  So what is changing exactly and what needs to change about SEO tactics to stay competitive?

Universal search refers to how the search engines are starting to place emphasis on not just traditional content and website pages but on other specific digital assets as well.  Images, videos, and PDFs can be part of a search results as can “local” results.

Personal search refers to how Google and other search engines are tracking users’ search behavior, IP addresses, and physical locations and creating algorithms that make certain assumptions based on this data.  Those assumptions help to “personalize” the results seen be each user.  Therefore, a site appearing number one for certain keywords in traditional results may now not be there for all users…regardless of how well optimized the site is.

So what can an Internet marketing company or search engine optimization company do to adapt to changing algorithms?

  • First and foremost, maintain sound traditional SEO tactics, use best practices, and continue to create healthy search engine friendly environments for your client’s websites
  • Continue to place emphasis on creating valuable experiences for the users
  • Take inventory of current digital assets and optimize them accordingly
  • Create new digital assets such as videos, images, and content that is complimentary to your organization, brand, products, and services – just because you hear that videos can rank in the search engines and that sites should add more rich media doesn’t mean you should create a bunch of You Tube videos and place them throughout your sites, unless it is relevant content
  • Be prepared to work more in a collaborative environment with clients because they will play a key role in helping create the digital assets for optimization
  • Continue optimizing sites for traditional search results, apply proper conversion analysis, and adapt accordingly – Just because videos and images can rank it does not mean those placements result in conversions
  • Remember that nothing beats good healthy natural SEO and that before you can even apply effective universal or personal optimization tactics you have to have a solid SEO foundation from which to build

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