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In this issue:

Bruce Clay, Inc. Welcomes Mike Grehan

Optimizing Content for Universal Search

THE USUAL: Coverage of this month's
hot topics, shuffles, shindigs, attaboys and word on the wire.

FEATURE: Bruce Clay, Inc. Welcomes Mike Grehan

Today, Bruce Clay, Inc., announces that Mike Grehan, a veteran search engine marketer recognized in the industry for his vast knowledge and insight, and also as an accomplished author on Search Engine Marketing, has joined the industry leading search marketing and optimization firm. He starts in the newly created position of Vice President, International Business Development. "Mike brings a broad range of search engine marketing and optimization experience as well as international business development and management skills to our team."

BACK TO BASICS: Optimizing Content for Universal Search

By now, you've all heard about Google's new Universal Search concept, which combines all the information within its vertical databases into one index to serve a single set of Web search results. As you can imagine, this will require some adjustments to standard search engine optimization techniques. If you have been following the Bruce Clay methodology, then you should already be on the right track to optimizing every aspect of your Web site that is under your control. With the arrival of universal search, it's not just a good idea; it's a necessity.

Hot Topics

And Then There Was Universal Search

On May 16th Google released the biggest update to its algorithm to date. They announced the adoption of a universal search model that would integrate unique search properties like news, video, local, images, and more into the user's traditional search results. It created a new environment for searchers and rewarded search marketers who have already begun experimenting with the different search verticals.

The New Era of Search

Danny Sullivan nicknamed Google's era of universal search "Google 2.0", and documented how it could benefit searchers. He highlighted how universal search will Make Vertical Search Visible, and blend the different types of search into traditional search results. He looked at things like Book Search Blending, News & Local Blending, Video Blending & Video Meta Search, and Image Blending & Multiple Blends.

Read/WriteWeb compared Google's launch into Universal Search with the experimental offerings of Ask, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google's own Searchmash. Interestingly, when compared, R/WW found Google's own Searchmash to have a better user interface than Google Universal Search.

There were some questions about whether Google's one-size-fits-all approach to search would make its results more relevant. Matt McGee told Search Engine Watch it will bring a different kind of relevance to search. Instead of being delivered 10 Web pages, searchers will get a mix of media all on one page. Is that better? As Matt said, time will tell.

John Andrews argued that universal search means a need for more specialization, with Web pages needing to be better targeted. He questioned whether Google's launch will backfire since most users choose Google for its simplicity. How many consumers actually want to know all of their options, he asked. Most just want traditional search and an easy answer. Will mixed results be a distraction and take away from that?

The Impact on Search Engine Optimization

Google's adoption of universal search changes how users will find information and the way marketers must look at optimization. For each vertical search result that ends up on the main search engine results page, one traditional Web listing must be dropped.

Andy Beal called the change "huge", saying it signaled Google's ability to differentiate between different query types. John Battelle, on the other hand, called it "old news", arguing that engines like have been doing it for awhile. Both are correct. The concept of universal search is not new, but with Google's adoption it becomes the norm, not the exception.

Universal search makes search engine optimization that much more complex. Now images, video and other content must be optimized the same way Web pages are. Luckily, the change of focus shouldn't be too drastic for savvy search marketers who have already been using the various verticals to drive traffic. Those who haven't, however, will have some catching up to do. To aid in the learning process, Search Engine Roundtable pointed to some advice on How To Capitalize on Google Universal Search.


We'd like to warmly welcome Mike Grehan to Bruce Clay Inc as Vice President of International Business Development.

May's high-profile people shuffles also included: Bill Slawski joined Commerce 360, Mark Stockford was appointed's new Senior VP of Operations, Blake Jorgensen was named Yahoo's Chief Financial Officer, and Darin Brown became Chief Strategy Officer at Avenue A | Razorfish.

In leavings, Elisabeth Osmeloski stepped down from Search Engine Watch, Pamela Thompson Johnston left Yahoo, and Google Video's Jennifer Feikin resigned.

In mergers and acquisitions:

  • Google paid $100 million for Feedburner, launched a cross-language search engine, acquired security company GreenBorder, teamed with Chinese search engine, and signed a content syndication deal with Fairfax Digital.
  • Canadian publisher Thomson announced they would acquire Reuters for $17 billion.
  • AOL acquired Third Screen Media, and ADTECH.
  • Microsoft bought online ad firm aQuantive for $6 billion.
  • eBay confirmed their purchase of StumbleUpon.
  • CBS acquired for $280 million and paid an undisclosed amount for the online stock show Wallstrip.
  • Search and media company Marchex partnered with Fox's Latin American Channels division to create content for the network's Spanish-language Web sites.
  • Blinx partnered with ChaCha.
  • The WPP Group bought 24/7 Real Media from under Microsoft for $649 million.

In redesign news, Technorati underwent a major revamp of their site, changing their focus from blog-centric to social media-oriented.

Bruce Clay, Inc. is hiring: Bruce Clay, Inc. is looking for a few good men (and women) to fill a number of positions in our Simi Valley, CA headquarters. Visit the Bruce Clay Employment page for a list of all of the available opportunities and job requirements.


Search Engine Strategies took over China this month. You can find recap information at Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, and SEOmoz. You can also view Rand Fishkin's SES Xiamen presentation online.

June will be another busy month for search marketers. The debut of Danny Sullivan's Search Marketing Expo will take place June 4 & 5 in Seattle. Bruce Clay Inc. will be there, with Bruce speaking at Tuesday's Give It Up! session, and Lisa Barone and Susan Esparza providing complete conference coverage for the Bruce Clay blog. Be sure to stop by often for all your session updates.

Following Search Marketing Expo, Darren Rowse will host a New York Blogger Meetup on June 9, SEOToolSet training takes place June 26-28, and Google will host a scalability conference on June 23 in Seattle.

Our international readers will want to mark their calendars for Blogs & Social Media Forum 2 taking place on 5 June in London, the Woman Business & Blogging Conference on 8 June, and Bruce Clay's UK and Europe SEO Training Class on 13-15 June.

Search engine marketers in South Africa and Australia should also watch for their own SEOToolSet training classes. Class will be in session 9-11 July in South Africa and 6-8 August in Australia. Check out their respective pages for more information.


The gang sponsored the East Bay Regional Park District's Fishing Derby for Special Kids and spent a day playing and bonding with some exceptional children.

A herd of Googlers showed their canine love representing Google Australia at the RSPCA Million Paws Walk at the Sydney Olympic park.

Wordpress welcomed their 1 millionth blog the week of their four year anniversary.

Yahoo updated their email service and give users unlimited email storage.

MarketingCharts found that saw a 126 percent increase in traffic after opening up public registration.

Word on the Wire

The Wall Street Journal got the industry talking by alleging that Google and would pair up to battle Microsoft. On the other side, we also heard that Microsoft would pair up with Yahoo to combat Google. At month's end, neither pairing seemed likely.

The Financial Times reported that may be courting, and there was talk that Google was about to launch a wireless network in the UK, and that they were strategically pairing with companies to strengthen its Google Pack.

If you have any questions or comments on any of the articles above or if you would like to suggest topics for future search engine optimization articles, please contact us at Bruce Clay, Inc