Universal search and CTR

Universal search is starting to shake up search marketing. The recent posting on the Comscore blog makes the interesting point that while CTR for paid search might decline, referrals from Google on the whole could increase i.e. Universal search has the potential to drive more valuable traffic to sites.

At first sight this looks like a very non-commercial move from Google that might have a negative impact on thier paid search revenues (shareholders will no doubt have another wibble). But Google’s success is built on it’s importance as a resource to consumers/searchers. By blending the results, Google is servicing the needs of their audience first, and as sure as a cat’s a hairy beast search marketers will follow. SEO will become increasingly vital.

Put this in the context of CTR for paid search now averaging about 0.2% and video CTR on sites like Youtube averaging between 1-2%. There is every chance that Universal Search will provide more relevant traffic to sites and with around 17% of all searches returning blended results search marketers need to rise to the challenge.

Watch out for the scramble to market as the reality of this filters down the marketing hierarchy.

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