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Universal Search Gets Smart

Apr 15, 2010 / by Robyn Storms

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Last week Google announced that universal search features in Google Suggest, which were rolled out in December, are now available for smartphone users. For someone like me who wants answers to all my Web inquiries yesterday, this is great news.

Universal What?

Universal search provides answers to commonly asked queries, such as weather or unit conversions, and displays them at the top of the results page. By incorporating these features into Suggest, it is now possible for Google to show answers below the search box. Depending on the search term being used, a user may not even need to leave Google’s homepage to find their answer.

For example, if you want to see what kind of weather your favorite SEO company is experiencing, type in “weather bluffdale.” Without any further button pushing, you now know we are currently (or at least we were when this post was written) experiencing balmy spring temperatures:

It’s A Smartphone World … Or At Least It Will Be

According to comScore there are 45 million smartphone users in the U.S., with those owners making up 19 percent of all mobile users. Those numbers may seem small now, but smartphone users are on the rise and will see continued growth. In fact, when compared to comScore’s previous stats from three months earlier, the amount of smartphone owners increased by 21%.

It is my assumption that of the 45 million smartphone users, 45 million of them are accessing the Internet on their phone regularly. Why else would a person buy a smartphone? Users with the Web on their mobile devices want fast, easily accessible information. And because it provides them a way to get results without typing out all required characters, Google Suggest is ideal.

What Does All This Mean For SEOs?

The biggest impact I see from universal search features and Google Suggest is with keyword research. Because Google is suggesting the most popular search terms, a good keyword strategy should include those keywords. This way you are guaranteed a more prominent presence in the SERPs when a user searches for those terms.

Topics: SEO Blog

Robyn Storms

Written by Robyn Storms

Robyn earned a degree in Public Relations from the University of Utah in 2004, and has since worked in various areas of marketing, media buying and public relations. Prior to working at SEO.com, Robyn worked at Axis41 in the Web marketing department handling all aspects of SEO and Internet marketing. She and her husband, Matt live in Sandy with their daughter, Harley and their dog, Kingston.

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