Google Goes Universal With Search

    May 16, 2007

Google’s Marissa Mayer today announced the launch of a new integrated search called universal search.

Starting today the company will bring together information from sources including videos, images, news, maps, books, and Web sites into one set of results. Universal search will gradually be integrated into user’s search results. Users will begin to see more content in their search results as the company moves towards providing a comprehensive search experience.

"Our focus has always been making our users’ search experience as simple and straightforward as possible," said Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google.

"The ultimate goal of universal search is to break down the silos of information that exist on the web and provide the very best answer every time a user enters a query. While we still have a long way to go, today’s announcements are a big step in that direction."

Google is also working on a new technical infrastructure that will allow the search engine to perform the task of providing universal search results. They are also releasing an upgraded ranking mechanism that will automatically compare different types of information objectively.

"Google has continued to concentrate on improving the quality of search," said Udi Manber, vice president of engineering at Google. "The level and speed of search innovation at Google has increased."

"Most of this innovation addresses basic ranking algorithms and is often not obvious to users. Users just see more accurate results, more often, in more languages, which is our primary goal."

Google has also added new navigation features. Navigation links have been added above the search results that have additional information related to a users search. For example a search for "pizza" will display links to Google Blog Search, Google Book Search and others to alert users that there is additional information available.

Google’s hompage has been updated with a new navigation bar that provides better access to Google products. Now users will see a navigation bar on the top left side of the page, instead of having links above the Google homepage search box.

With Google’s latest innovations in search it will be interesting to see how Microsoft and Yahoo answer. Overall this should be good news for all searchers.