Have you never heard of vertical search? Then perhaps you will not understand the concept of universal search which designates those results that show content like images or videos, as well as all we know, text. This was implemented by Google in its algorithm in 2007. Vertical search is a search method or service that focuses on a particular type of information or specific format to index and present its results. A typical example of vertical search is that of search engines like the YouTube search engine.
Although they emerged almost on a par with the search engines on the Internet, the vertical search is still perfect for the general public. And you should be aware of vertical search as an SEO method. In any case, the truth is that this concept refers, simply, to the different sections of search present in the search engines (for example, "web," "images," "news" or "books," in the case of Google).
Although the most common is that the results offered are in text format, they can also provide images, news or videos. Vertical search offers a wide range of possibilities for optimizing web pages or SEO, although few experts work with elements other than text. This is a mistake since this leaves aside tools that can help improve organic traffic.
However, before analyzing how to achieve proper indexing of these contents, it is worth detailing a concept that will help to understand the importance of this issue: the universal search. Created on May 2007 by Google, it serves to designate those results that, in addition to text, offer content in other formats, such as images and videos. Due to the great success, the search engines of the competition were not slow to join this initiative and offer this same service.
The reason that pushed the California giant to innovate in this aspect was the habits of the users, who were not accustomed to refining their search results (which is easily achieved by clicking on the buttons available in the search engine itself: "news," " images," etc.).
Vertical SEO is based on the specialization of content. It is simple when more specific is a web page, the easier it is to position yourself. A great example we see with the big stores, it is true that they will attract much more traffic because they will place a high number of keywords, but a new website is created, talking about a single product, where all the possible information is given of that product, you will end up surpassing it.
The engines of search increasingly valued more structure web vertically for a straightforward reason, there are "too many" web and therefore, which is more complete than getting that position.
The architecture that we are going to define next is known as the optimal architecture, and its structure is pyramidal, having a maximum of 3 levels of depth. Next, we will explain all the levels:
Home: The tip of the iceberg, and the most crucial website of any website. On this page, highly competitive keywords are usually positioned, and it is typically a kind of summary of the web. Its great importance lies in that the most normal thing is that it is the page of your most linked website.
Pillars pages: In this case, we refer to the second. They are directly connected to the page of start through the menu and must try to position keywords top of our website. The content of these pages must be exciting in the eyes of users, must provide value and cannot be boring. On my website, a pillar page would be, for example, "digital marketing blog."
Specific pages: We talk about the third level, and in most cases last. In this case, we work keywords derived from the pillars pages, for example, from my page of marketing services in your local area would come 4 pages, one for each service.
This structure is essential for engines to search for good reason, we offer a lot of information and also logically connect with each other.
In any case, Google's coup d'état inaugurated a new way of understanding SEO, which would affect other formats outside the text. In the following lines, guidelines will be given to work with them.
An essential element of image SEO is consistency when creating content for the site in question. To explain this concept, it is enough to know that search engines value an image better if it is on a web with a specific theme. For example, if it is a photograph of a bridge included in a website that consists of this word in the title, the subtitles and their contents will increase the chances of Google placing it well in its search results related to bridges.
Also, other good practices can help this purpose. They are the following:
If you own the reproduction rights of the images, allow other users to use them, with the condition that they indicate the name of the site from which they come.
Other elements that should not be optimized are the videos. And it is that, without going further, vertical videos is an area that is expanding rapidly within the search engines, due to the increase in the consumption of these formats on the Internet. This trend has been consolidated in recent years due to various aspects, such as the generalization of the broadband line, which has led to increasing demand for videos. Hence, it is desirable to take them into account for any SEO strategy.
In this sense, and as was the case with images, we must consider that search engines are not yet able to see the content of a video as a human being does, even though progress is being made in this address. For this reason, to know what this file is about, the search engines try to discover it through the elements that surround it, such as the meta description - a text that includes a brief description of its content -, the links it receives or the anchor text or anchor text of those links (ie, the text on which users click).
However, we must make some clarifications on everything that search engines can see in the content of the video. For example, we must not lose sight of the fact that they can detect adult content, identify the faces of specific people or recognize texts. In any case, the truth is that these caveats cannot be taken into account when optimizing a video.
Finally, and concerning the aspects that can condition the positioning of these formats in Google, the following should be highlighted:
a) Title of the video
b) Meta description
c) Involvement of users reflected in scores and comments the times that are marked as favourites
d) Inbound links or inbound links, which are a sample of the authority with which the video counts
e) Video maps of the site, consisting of an explanatory text on the contents of the file, oriented to search engines.
f) Social search, based on user ratings that are taken into account in the Google algorithm to assess the authority of a site
The characteristics of vertical search on Google are different from the way that standard search works. It's almost as if the search engine tries to slow down the user's effort and delivers not only the result but the information already on the results page itself. Note some of the following results, such as videos on Youtube :
For example in one case, the search for the keyword "videos iron maiden" already has a characteristic that determines the type of result expected, that is, the user wants to find videos of the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. As such, video listings will significantly contribute to the user experience, as instead of delivering only text listings with sites that contain related videos, it also offers video suggestions.
In the case of Google, we can say that the mechanism "likes to show" results of its map tool is Google Maps. It is a map service, where you can find addresses and routes of places and companies by entering your name, city, street, zip code, telephone number, among other information. These results may also contain images, such as images added by users, as well as more details about streets and shops close to a particular address.
Companies can use this service to register their establishments free of charge to appear in Google search results and to attract consumers physically (facilitating access through their map) or even to the company's website.
Conducting registrations in regional directories is also very important. Pay attention to the fact that we talk about findability, so the site can be found in several ways in this vertical search process. When searching for certain types of business in the search engines, it is possible to find, in addition to maps, results of local directories and guides that will contribute even more to this process. Some of these local guides allow the elaboration of a business page in the guide, with images, website address, phones, among other relevant data, which in turn end up becoming snippets of results in search engines.
In the case of results by companies, it is possible to add reviews, and this is a point that I consider very important because, in addition to the result, it is possible to know the opinion of other people. In this way, a company that appears in these results can harness the potential of collaboration to gain competitive advantage. Therefore, to search for users in certain places, it is imperative that a company signs up with Google Maps, but not only in it!
This feature should be used to enable, in an even more interactive way, the permanence of a brand, product or service in sources other than just regular text listings. If a video result appears in the SERPs, there is a relevance to that video on your native channel. If an image is presented in the results, it should be accessible for some reason.
You can see that the same videos that appear in the Google results often appear in the results of the Youtube search interface as well. In this case, it is relevant to comment that there is also a process of collective intelligence for this to happen. The more popular a particular video, the more likely it to appear in relevant positions in the listings. The same can be observed in relation to images.
Thus, there is a convergence between means that must be observed. It is not enough that only the video or image exists on a channel or be used in a quality article, both need to be popular, essential, relevant to the process of finding information. An image referenced by other websites will become much more popular. In this case, care with the image name and alt text are also critical.
Vertical search can be used for images, videos, and all types of content that your website may host. It is a good idea to integrate this SEO strategy along with others such as off page SEO, etc.