Google | 6.24.14
SearchMetrics recently released an interesting study about what type of search results a user typically receives from a Google search query. This particular study examined the universal search results for millions of keywords over the span of a year (2013) to test what had changed and what hadn’t.
Just what exactly are universal search results? Those are the multiple facets of results a search engine will provide like videos, images, maps, shopping results, and news. In its latest research, this particular study found data that displayed universal search results on Google grew by 81% in 2013 from 75% in the previous year.
What was most commonly found in search results were videos, which rose 7% over 2013. Interestingly, the SERP (search engine results pages) typically display one video result, according to SearchMetrics.
In the U.S., YouTube dominates and outranks other types of videos, however, YouTube is slowly losing its edge in market share overall in universal search results as shown in this graph below:
Images were seen in 45% of search results. SearchMetrics found that images were integrated more in Google’s Knowledge Graph found on the right side of results pages verses between listings in the main body of the page.
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) saw the most growth (200%) in 2013. With the introduction to Google Shopping, users are no longer directed to retailers’ product pages. Rather, the user is first directed to a page within Google, where those PLAs are aggregated. This shows that retailers are now buying PLAs in increasing numbers and, as a result, having those ads show up in Google.
Maps integration in search results received no increase over the year, maintaining a 1% share of all results. SearchMetrics concluded that while Maps increased in presence over the last year, they were delivered most often for local searches.
News results stayed stagnant and less diverse, which SearchMetrics concluded was a result of Google Hummingbird. “The development coincides roughly with the release of the Hummingbird algorithm. At first there seemed to be more diversity in the news, but this has stabilized at a lower level after Hummingbird.”
Which Universal Search items appear most (in absolute numbers):
1. Images: account for 45% of all Universal Search items displayed
2. Videos: account for 29% of all Universal Search Items displayed
3. PLA (Product Listing Ad): account for 18% of All Universal Search items displayed
4. Maps: account for 7% of all Universal Search items displayed
5. News: accounts for 1% of al Universal Search items displayed