Thursday, May 17, 2007

Google rolls out Universal Search

Google rolls out Universal Search

In its latest technological leap, online search leader Google Inc. will begin showing videos on its main results page Wednesday along with photos, books and other content previously separated into different categories. Under a new “universal search” approach that Google began rolling out Wednesday afternoon, some requests will produce more than just a series of links and snippets pointing to other Web sites. As an example, the results to the search request “I have a dream” will include an actual video showing Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous 1963 speech along with the usual assortment of Web links. The videos will be shown on Google’s results page if it’s contained in the company’s own database or the vast library of its YouTube subsidiary. A thumbnail will direct traffic to videos hosted on other sites like Metacafe.com.

Other Google results will more frequently show photos or information from the more than 1 million books that the company has copied during the past two years. More news stories and local information pertaining to search requests will be displayed on Google’s first results page - perhaps the most prized showcase on the Web. Google’s database has included photos, books, videos and local information for several years, but fetching the content usually required searching through one of the customized channels featured in a row of links above the main query box. A new link to Google’s increasingly popular e-mail service, Gmail, will be added above the query box in the next day or two to make it easier to access for existing users and presumably more alluring to Web surfers who haven’t already opened an account. By intermingling different types of Web content on its main result page, Google is betting it can become even more useful to its millions of users and maintain the competitive advantage that has established the Mountain View-based company as a cultural and financial phenomenon.

Source: PCWorld, SeattlePost

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