Google's stated goal in altering the way it presents search results is relevance to the search user. However, the changes also will help highlight the vertical searches the firm has offered separately for some time, as well as create new opportunities, particularly for brand advertisers. Indeed, the switch-up could even pit Google's current direct response advertisers against branding newcomers.

The universal search model, currently in its nascent stages, will present search results in a much more integrated manner than before. Depending on what users search for, the results page could feature sections with images, video, links to book content, maps or local business listings.

Brand advertisers in the travel and financial services categories could benefit from the new search model. Travel advertisers, for instance, could optimize videos displaying cruise line offerings or hotel amenities, while financial firms might focus on promoting educational videos rather than straight text articles.

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