Yesterday Google announced an entirely new thing: Google Universal Search Results. This means that when you do a search on Google you don’t just get web sites in your search results page- you get related video, audio, images and blogs along with web sites. This is a really big deal, IMHO, because it means that Google now equally values this content. By ‘equally values’ I mean that as long as the content is available on the Internet and relevant Google will serve it up to you. This probably means that traditional web sites are losing their place as the prime repositories of information on the web.
I’ve been watching the blogosphere and blogging for awhile now. I visit 20-30 sites daily to keep up on my profession (online marketing) and most of them (95%) are blogs, not traditional web sites. They change daily which reflects the real nature of information which is not static- it flows. Sites that are static repositories of information are on the way out as we need to understand the flow of information rather than a set of facts.
So what does this mean to those of us creating information on the Internet? It means that your business needs dynamic content that reflects the rapid changes you and your customers are experiencing. This dynamic content might be on a web site but it equally may reside in a YouTube video, an iTunes podcast, a blog, a widget, a mobile phone, etc. Google recognizes this and has made it mainstream by including all of these media in their search results. We all need to reevaluate our online communication strategies in light of this development.
Here’s the Google blog on how to take advantage of universal search.
ReadWriteWeb has an excellent analysis of the Universal Search features.