It amazes me how many online optimizers ignore Universal Search. I’ve come across site owners who ask, “Hey, we are a flower retailer, how do we rank in the top 10?” And I’m like, “Jeez, you’re not even on Google Places”.
Years ago, whether you owned a hotel, a newspaper or an insurance company, the way you optimized your site for Google was more or less the same. Remember the good old SERPs with a homogeneous mass of search results?
Nowadays, times have changed. Today, the search results contain paid listings, specialized search results (Images, Videos, etc.), and what not. There is now more distraction for the searcher, and potential visitors may simply ignore your insignificant “normal” result and click on a flashy Shopping snippet or something similar.