What Wins In Google Universal Search? Videos, Images & Google!

Searchmetrics has conducted a data analysis on what type of content appears most often in Google Universal Search results, as well as which sites are most visible in them. Video and image content wins, as does content hosted on Google’s own properties.

Universal Search Loves Video, Images

The most revealing data from the study, which the company provided to us and which may appear on its site soon, is that having a video is one of the best ways of showing up in the top results at Google.

The chart below shows up videos are by far the most found results in Google, with image content a distant second:

After video and image content are map results, news, books, shopping, images and then blogs.

The key point here, if you want to be seen in Google Universal Search, do video!

Google Wins In Universal Search

Searchmetrics also sent the top US based properties that come up under each universal search vertical:

As you can see from this chart, content hosted by Google clearly dominate, ranking tops in four of the five areas:

  • YouTube is the number one video site that shows up for video results
  • Google Maps is the number one map site that shows up for map results.
  • Google Product Search is the number one shopping site that shows up for shopping results
  • Google’s Blogger is the number one image site that shows up for image results.

The top rankings will likely raise rumblings about Google favoring itself, an issue in the anti-trust reviews that it is currently undergoing.

How Is Universal Search Defined?

This study defines the universal search results as the sections in the Google search results that read “News for…” or “Shopping results” or “Places for” or “Images for” and so on. The reason Google News is not dominating the news category, Searchmetrics says, is because the URLs in the “News for…” are URLs to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other news sites. Very rarely does Google have a link to a news article on their own domain name, at least at this point in time.

In terms of local search, Searchmetrics says that the data is drawn from searches related to large metro areas in the United States and would only be valid in those types of areas.

Correction: Our initial edition of this story had mistakenly reported the video line as the blog line (IE, said that blog content was most popular).

Related Stories

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Google: Universal Search | Google: Web Search | Stats: General | Stats: Relevancy | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • http://webmd.com roseberry

    hey Barry, from the graph it looks like the top line matches \video\ in the legend not \blog\. Blogs actually look to be the bottom (smallest) line. I think it’s maybe video and images that are the top

  • http://www.artrogue.com Matt Mikulla

    I find it odd that the top 5th image source is Kaboodle. However, I have a kaboodle account and just searched google for some keywords I knew where in one of my kaboodle posts and sure enough the image was there.

  • Scott Walker

    Maybe Google is favoring it’s own results, or maybe… youtube, blogspot, Google Maps, and Google Products have the most links, which is how Google’s algorithm works. I wouldn’t judge Google based on this data.

  • http://www.comparemobilephonerecycling.co.uk alan

    I tend to disagree with this article, I read it the other week so for the first time I created 2 videos and posted them onto youtube with my desired keywords.

    i was ranking second in google for the mobile phone recycling keyword and now today I have dropped to 3rd after holding that position for over several months

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide