Google announced yesterday that they’ll be launching “universal search” where results from video, images, books, maps and so on will be blended into web search results. This has been around for a little while in the form of the “onebox” – a few image results or products shown at the top of the page – but in the future these results will be right in the main listings.
With a significant proportion of our site visitors finding the Edge Hill website using Google (information that’s easy to find with the new Google Analytics interface!), this is potentially a big change in the ordering of results. While I would expect that the top result will still be our home page, we might see video results from YouTube and Google Video starting to sneak in lower down. The Google interface will be tweaked slightly to bring more attention to other types of search result through a bar across the top showing all their services and a bar just above the search results showing search services which are likely to find what you’re looking for. With users much more likely to go looking for these other types of page it raises new SEO challenges to get our heads around.