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Universal Search: Diving Deep into the Facts and Figures for Five Industries

Our whitepaper on Universal Search 2018, published earlier this year, established benchmark values for ten of the most important types of universal search integrations, including direct answers, images and videos, news and knowledge graphs. Now we have gone deeper into the data – and have analyzed results for five specific industries. This enables search marketers to more precisely understand which integrations appear in the Google search results for their industry – and which types of optimizations will bring the most benefit for their websites.

Universal Search Industry Whitepapers!


Farewell, dear ten blue links! On the first mobile search results page, there are now only 8.5 organic results; on desktop it’s 8.7. With the decline in the number of classic organic links that Google displays on the first results page for a search query, SEOs and content marketers are having to increasingly look to other sources for their organic traffic. One place to look that provides great potential is Universal Search integrations, of which there are now hundreds of different types.

The new studies show how widespread important Universal Search integrations are within five different industries: eCommerce, finance, health, media and travel. Each analysis includes concrete website optimization recommendations for the industry in question. These aren’t overall averages that show general trends in the search (result) landscape; these are precise conclusions based on how frequent direct answers, images, news, knowledge graphs etc. are in the search results of a certain industry. The papers can be downloaded for free here:

Universal Search Industry Whitepapers!

We’ve prepared two examples to highlight the diversity of optimization potential for Universal Search across different industries. The first looks at direct answers and the second looks at news widgets.

Direct answers: Why health and finance websites should optimize for position zero

A ranking on position 0, above the other organic results, can lead to a huge boost in a website’s traffic and conversions. Whilst on average only 16% of desktop results pages on include a direct answer, the industry analyses reveal which websites can most benefit from optimizing for direct answers:


Google shows a direct answer above the search results for 35% of finance keywords. In the health industry, it’s 33%. This shows how much potential there is for finance and health sites if they can optimize their content for direct answers. One way is providing a paragraph with a concise, useful answer, placed beneath a heading that’s phrased as a question. In the other three industries analyzed, there are fewer direct answers than on average. This means that websites in eCommerce, media and travel should focus their optimization efforts elsewhere.

News: Where finance and eCommerce sites are missing out on traffic

You’re a content marketer, SEO or online agency who’s responsible for finance or eCommerce websites? Then you should, assuming you’re not yet already, start focusing your optimization efforts on Google News.News-Integrations---Mobile-US-01Why? Because whilst overall only 9% of mobile search results pages include a news integration, the industry analysis reveals some surprises. Almost a quarter of mobile search results pages for finance keywords include a Google News widget. Financial topics – think trade, jobs, the economy and stock markets –  are always making headlines and rarely out of the news cycle. Similarly, most online retailers probably don’t think about optimizing for Google News. Yet, 16% – nearly one in six – of mobile eCommerce queries return a Google News box.

For news integrations, as with other search results, your online competition isn’t necessarily the same as your offline competition. Optimizing for Google News demands technical SEO measures that differ from those required for ranking in the normal organic results. However, with the correct implementation and a commitment to regular publication of up-to-date content, these news boxes provide a huge opportunity for picking up additional traffic and conversions.

All insights, data and recommendations on where to optimize for the most important Universal Search integrations in your industry can be found in our five free whitepapers:

Universal Search Industry Whitepapers!

Jan Grundmann

Jan Grundmann

Jan Grundmann covers all important topics related to search engine optimization and content marketing, including analysis of new Google Updates and data from the Searchmetrics Suite. Jan Grundmann has been working as a journalist and content marketer since 2005. He has been a regular author on the Searchmetrics Blog since 2015, and also writes for his railway travel portal

One thought on “Universal Search: Diving Deep into the Facts and Figures for Five Industries

  • kingroot latest version 2018/06/20 at 4:24 am

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little homework on this.
    And he actually ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this topic here on your web page.

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