Google Universal Search Trends

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by Ayaz Nanji

Google now delivers Universal Search results—those that include a blend of links, videos, images, news, shopping listings, and map data—for 81% of all US searches, according to a recent report from Searchmetrics.

The analysis was based on data from millions of keyword searches conducted on Google.com in the United States between January and December 2013. The number of results that include Universal Search integrations has steadily increased over time and is up six percentage points from 2012, it found.

Below, other key findings from the report.

Most Frequent Integration Types

  • Video results were the most common Universal Search integration for the keywords analyzed, appearing in 65% of searches in December 2013.
  • Images appeared in 40% of the examined keyword search results.

Integrations by Volume

  • Because search pages contain multiple results, there is a discrepancy between how often certain Universal Search types appear (frequency) and the number of Universal Search items presented (volume). For example, videos appeared in the highest number of results examined, but the total number of videos returned actually declined 15% in 2013.
  • Images were the most displayed Universal Search item type, accounting for 45% of the total.

  • Shopping integrations grew by roughly the same rate as videos declined in 2013, most likely because of Google’s shift to a payment model for its Product Listing Ads (PLAs).

Video Integrations

YouTube is the video provider most often returned in Universal Search results, though its share of integrations declined in 2013.

About the research: The report was based on data from millions of keyword searches conducted on Google.com in the United States between January and December 2013.