I’ve been thinking about Google Universal Search lately and have read a lot of posts and articles on the topic. Most of the coverage looks at the increased importance of getting into video and news search results. Of course, this makes perfect sense and should’ve been part of everyone’s marketing strategy even before the Universal Search rollout.
Here is the question, though: how will a video or a picture smacked right in the middle of the SERP affect clickthrough rates for both organic and sponsored results?
Here are the clickthrough rates for regular Google search engine results page, according to the 2006 eye-tracking study (PDF) done by Cornell University:
Google SEPR Click and Attention distribution ‘heat-map’ (via seoresearcher.com)
Now, having blended results added to the equation should change the math. I would imagine the clickthrough rates going down as the attention shifts from top-left corner to the clearly visible video, local and news results. I would love to see a heatmap of the Google Universal Search results page.
So will the new blended results become the holy grail of search engine marketing? What do you think?