Google is reportedly set to add blogs to its Universal Search results, posing another SEO challenge/opportunity for online marketers.

Marissa Mayer, the firm’s search products and user experience VP, told eWeek that its search listings would start to include blog pages from this week or next.

It’s the first media type to be added since Google launched its Universal Search programme in May – an acknowledgement of blogs’ growing popularity. It’s also been seen as a response to recent search engine revamps by rivals Ask, Microsoft and Yahoo!.

Mayer said that further innovations were planned as part of the scheme, which has already seen image, mapping, book, video and news links added to Google’s generic results.

“We talked about it as a new playground for our engineers and it’s true. We’re actually developing a bunch of interesting experiments in terms of the interface and what could happen in terms of Universal Search.”

Little seems to have come out yet about users’ response to Universal Search; the result of a painstaking five year project at Google. But the move highlights the growing importance of blogs and other alternative forms of content for companies’ SEO efforts.

Universal Search was one of the main talking points at our recent SEO Roundtable – some attendees said it had prompted them to look more closely at their different digital assets and how well they have been optimised. But some also expected a period of flux while Google finds the correct weighting for different media types.

Related research:

SEO Roundtable Briefing September 2007

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