SMX West: Tasty Blend Of Search, Retail

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 by Mistlee

SMX West: Tasty Blend Of Search, Retail

By David A. Utter

Universal search comes to the retail world.

Universal search presents retailers an opportunity to reach searchers with more information than a few words of plain text.

(Coverage of the SMX West Conference continues at WebProNews Videos. Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)
SMX Conference

As search engines shift to presenting additional types of content, like images and videos, in search results, retailers need to make their content ready for engines to present it to potential customers.

Liana Evans said these opportunities present new chances at engagement. Along with images and video in universal search, people see other content like maps, social media site profiles and reviews, and results from shopping comparison engines.

Being in universal search goes beyond just search now. The important relationship-building that can take place still need good SEO fundamentals; we mentioned some of these in our previous SMX West post on universal search.

Chris Silver Smith noted the ongoing changes at search engines, and how they impact retailers. He recommended using titles for products to match what searchers seek.

As one makes more content available for search, retailers will want to experiment with searches and see what types of products come up in the results. Clothes and books are not as easy as electronics, for example.

To help with this, Smith suggested placing product names and brand names in titles, something that should work better in universal search results. With universal search being a work in progress, retailers have the chance to experiment.

They will need to keep experimenting as Google and other search engines adapt what they do with universal search results. One change could undo what people get with a query now, and there is always room for improvement.

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