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What is a "Blended Search"?

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When you perform a search in Google, you may have noticed lately the results will sometimes not only show text links and descriptions, but you may also be presented with maps, images, and even video. This is where the term "blended" comes from - the results are a blend of relevant text results, as well as other media.

Example: Perform a search for "chiropractor kogarah", and the very first result is a Google map.

Another example is search for "harley vrod" and the first results are images.

Why is this important to you?
Blended searches will have more of an impact in time to come, but even now is having an effect, and the more information you have available about your product or business in more locations, and in different media forms, the better off your website will be. If you currently achieve good search results, you could find over time those results get "pushed down" in preference to a blended result (map, image, video, etc).

Example: Search for "website design sydney", and you will find justweb™ on page one, however there are about ten or so other results associated with a Google Map that appear first (I COULD be there, but as you probably know, I work from home).

What should you do?
It is important that you try as much as possible to use the following to help promote your website and business:

Gabriella Cilmi Video
Create a YouTube channel with informative videos. It could be a "how-to" guide, a new, innovative product, an interesting installation, a few "tips", or any number of subjects relevant to your industry. Note in the example to the right, a search for "Gabrielle Cilmi" (a young Australian popular singer), results in not only links to websites, but two YouTube videos.

Ensure your website has relevant photos and their file names and "alt text" are optimised accordingly. Also ensure Google has been given "permission" to access your site for image searches. This will potentially show your website in results if someone performs a search for which you have a corresponding image. Another method would be to create a Flickr account if you have original images that may be of interest.

If you have the time, start your own Blog (for example WordPress or Blogger). If you don't have the time (there are, after all, only 24 hours in one day), find a relevant existing blog, and become a contributor. At the very least, add comments to blogs that are relevant to your industry. Don't forget to have a sign off that promotes you and or your website.

Create a Facebook profile. These have been used to great effect in the off-site optimisation of a website.

In summary, the old adage "content is King" is still true. If you write well written, relevant ORIGINAL content, you will have a good basis to achieve excellent search engine results.

There are many other contributing factors too, including site construction and layout, titles, links (bot internal and external), and even your domain name - these all need to be considered very carefully.

If you require advice or further information about blended search optimisation, please don't hesitate to contact me.

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