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SES San 2007 Jose Day 1 – Universal & Blended Vertical Search

Chris Sherman, Co-Chair, SES San Jose
Search Engine Marketing Speakers:
Greg Jarboe, President and Co-Founder, SEO-PR
Sherwood Stranieri, Search Marketing Director, Catalyst online
Bill Slawski,
Erik Collier, Director of Product Management,
David Bailey, Engineer, Google
Tim Mayer, Vice President of Product Management, Yahoo! Search

Quite likely the busiest session of the day to the fullest house. One can’t help but notice that if Greg Jarboe had gone to Google and designed Universal Search himself he likely couldn’t have designed it to play into his strength areas in news and pr related issues. The implications and transformation for universal search are still evolving, but they are clearly changing the landscape. One other thing that became clear from this event was that Ask is becoming a serious contender in this marketplace.

Greg Jarboe –

Universal search is the biggest event since “Florida” update. 70% of what I used to know is now obsolete. The patterns are not yet clear in personalization.

News results ranked #4 if you searched for the term iPhone on June 29

In the #8 position, was a Youtube video. We don’t know if it was done on purpose.

July 17, Rupert Murdoch – news with image – brings up a whole new reputation management – be prepared to optimize images.

Early chapters of Henry Potter were leaked, the blog results are on page one of results

Investor relations now is moving to the front page of Countrywide. Few companies have complete control of their brands now on Google.

Unflattering images of Hillary Clinton and that vast right wing conspiracy is building links to unflattering results.

Blogs on Hurricane Dean already on front page. Images will likely come next.

All of the rules have been rewritten – how do I research this? Focus on the upper left links. News seems to be on the top left all the time. Search remains #1 way journalist find information about a company.

Newsknife and Google News Report – be checking this. Your PR people aren’t ready for that yet. If you are not giving a jpg file in a release, start now.

Google News right now doesn’t do video news. Likely to create that.

Social mapping tools can help identify most influential bloggers. In certain categories they show up.

A couple of years ago there was vertical creep session here at SES – I now rank for that term. Not a good thing.

You can’t afford to ignore Universal Search Today

Google is making specialized or vertical content more visible through Universal Search

Sherwwod Stranieri, Catalyst Online

This throws a lot of  curves into the theme. Ask 3D and Google cut new paths.

Conventional web pages that once rank well are going to move around maybe down. Other things will move updates.

Number of videos is significant in the Youtube world. Are the search engines using comments as an indicator?

We are looking at it as search marketers. Showed client example.

How to look at it: Google PR, Y! Page links, keyword phrases in tags.

Videos ranking correspond well with views, comments, etc.

Bill Slawski

Why does news, images and video show up there.

I’m not sure I see this all as a revolutionary concept. How do we get out content into our results.

Showed examples of screen prints from each engine for the word spider.

Showed the Google patent, oddly looks quite different than Google’s universal search does now.

Google acquired several Infoseek patents.

Discussed Onebox and log file data.

Ranking in Vertical databases – how do you rank for that vertical?

User behavior – key value pairs, be certain definition and being defined. Questions and Answers work the same way. Html formatting may play a role.

Enhancing the user experiences.

David Bailey – Google
Technical lead for the vertical search.

What are our goals?

Make the search box of first resort.

Display special features for special results

Keep it fast. Keep it simple. Above all, keep it relevant.

Showed example: origami crane

This will continually improve and extend to more result types.

It’s still about the web.

But: think about creating quality content in other forms. Expect similar SEO guidelines to apply.

Create quality content, describe it well and we’ll see what happens.

Tim Mayer, VP Product Management

We are transitioning to a better optimized user experience

Freshness and user intent became relevancy issues.

News, local and other verticals – the possibilities are infinite. Federation plays a role.

Some implantation examples:

Music Artist Shortcut

Movie Shortcut

Hotel Shortcut Inline

Consumer Electronics Shortcut

As we go forward, it’s going t be more about the intent of the searchers.

Eric Collier, Director of Product Management

“We are the scrappy innovator of search.” 3D: SERP Design

We moved the content up top and removed the top links.

Large jumps in user satisfaction seen in both the site analytics and surveys

Increase in vertical channel usage

Starting to see a reduction of multiple query sessions around the same keyword term.

Expect to see a larger percentage of SERPs with blended results

User location will play a larger roles in SERPs

Expect to see fewer web results in SERPs

Blogs, Images and Video results will take online reputation into account when ranking

Pay attention to other search drivers

Other coverage of this important session:

RB Digital Boots


AIM Clear Blog

Lee Odden’s Toprankblog

Bonus coverage:

Lee Odden interviews Tim Mayer

9 thoughts on “SES San 2007 Jose Day 1 – Universal & Blended Vertical Search

  1. […] yesterday’s speech by Greg Jarboe during the Universal Search session I knew this session would be popular. I had no idea that I could not even get a seat in a […]

  2. David,

    While I didn’t go to Google and design Universal Search myself, it does play to anyone who has strength in both SEO and PR. This includes Lee Odden of, Sally Falkow of Expansion Plus, Tony Wright of DexterityMedia, Anne Kennedy of Beyond Ink, and many, many more. You’d be surprised how many PR pros are involved in search. And now universal search makes that combination of skill sets absolutely essential. Man, I feel like I just won the lotto.

  3. You’re a rare bird. I do recall you saying that many PR pros are prepared to handle this. The group you mention is less than 1% of the PR population.

    Fortunately, I’ve had only the best teachers, like Lee and yourself, with no legacy tactics to shake off. 🙂

  4. […] David Dalka posted an item to his blog about a year-and-a-half ago that said, “One can’t help but notice that if Greg Jarboe had […]

  5. […] David Dalka posted an item to his blog about a year-and-a-half ago that said, “One can’t help but notice that if Greg Jarboe had […]

  6. […] David Dalka posted an item to his blog about a year-and-a-half ago that said, “One can’t help but notice that if Greg Jarboe had […]

  7. […] David Dalka posted an item to his blog about a year-and-a-half ago that said, “One can’t help but notice that if Greg Jarboe had […]

  8. […] David Dalka posted an item to his blog about a year-and-a-half ago that said, “One can’t help but notice that if Greg Jarboe had […]

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