7 Simple Ways to Use Universal Search to Appear on Top of Google

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While many people still assume that SEO 2.0 is just a mislead term for SMO/M (social media optimization/marketing) it’s plainly put not true. In SEO 2.0 you still in many cases aim at search results in the broadest sense. One of the reasons is the so called Universal Search. This term basically signifies that Google and other search engines will mix static search results with all kinds of other media and stuff, like images, video, news, maps to name just the most common.

You can use these additional ways to be on top of Google search results, at least temporary or for some users, but in many cases also permanently. To show you the power of Universal Search and thus SEO 2.0, the one and only valuable strategy of Web 2.0 SEO I present to you 7 ways to use Google Universal Search to appear at the top of the so called SERPS of Google.

Google Local/Maps
This one is one of the most common ways to appear above your competition on Google results. To appear here you need appearances in local directories and reviews on sites like Booking.com or Tripadvisor instead of links. Obviously it’s great for hotels and local businesses. The more reviews you get the higher you end up.

Google Video
If you look for a ventriloquist for instance you will find 4 videos in the top 20, 2 at YouTube and 2 at Metacafe. So obviously you should upload a video there to rank high. It might be not that simple for this keyword as there are many videos, but it’s worth a try. I bet there are lots of keywords where there are fewer videos. Good for anybody who can sell something that will blend on video, basically everybody.

Google Image Search
If you look for pop stars or artists you will in most cases see images above all the other results. Try Britney Spears or one of the most notorious artists, Banksy. While optimization for image search would take up a post of it’s own it is still by far simpler than link building etc. for a conventional #1 spot.

Google News
While you might think that you are not New York Times and you’ll never get there, it’s one of the easier endeavours. Either you submit your press release to a free press release site that gets featured on Google News or you might even set up a multi author blog and apply for inclusion in Google News yourself. You can guest post at one if you need a quick success story. Look at the examples above: Britney and Banksy SERPS both often include news.

Google Product Search (formerly Froogle)
This one is also obvious and fairly simple, just submit your products to shopping search engines like Bizrate and/or Ebay. Good for shop owners obviously.

Google BlogSearch
This one is evident but it’s not rolled out yet it seems. At least i can’t see it yet. Google nonetheless announced to add BlogSearch results soon to Google search results. So get a blog now.

Subscribed Links
This is a great way to combine RSS and search. When I look for SEO in Google, at #4 I see Search Engine Roundtable. Why? I subscribed to their feed in my search results, like thousands of others. So when I search for SEO I will get the articles matching. Of course, here you need a blog too.

Well, this is not really about Universal Search but it’s very similar. Millions of StumbleUpon users see enhanced Google results. They can see which pages were stumbled already, how often, by whom etc. So you appear much more trustworthy having 5 stars added by the StumbleUpon toolbar than your competition which has none.

There are other types of Google special searches like Google Books, Scholar, Groups which are not that pervasive yet but for some topics and areas of expertise already common. So please forget about SEO as a set of fixed practices like SEO copywriting, link building etc. SEO 2.0 is as multifaceted as the real world is.

Moreover consider that Google personalizes search results based on search history and Google bookmarks. Also iGoogle contributes to that. So you might end up in the top 10 for SEO for some people while others won’t see you at all.