Google has just announced that starting next Wednesday, it will start combining all of its search services under a single, universal interface. What does this mean for you? Let’s say you search Google for the term “geek”. Previously, the search engine would have returned you results based on its search database alone, but from now on, what you’ll get is a page displaying the combined output from multiple sources: Google Search, Google News, Google Video/Youtube and probably many others.
Google’s vision for universal search is to ultimately search across all its content sources, compare and rank all the information in real time, and deliver a single, integrated set of search results that offers users precisely what they are looking for. Beginning today, the company will incorporate information from a variety of previously separate sources – including videos, images, news, maps, books, and websites – into a single set of results. At first, universal search results may be subtle. Over time, users will recognize additional types of content integrated into their search results as the company advances toward delivering a truly comprehensive search experience.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think unifying search results will be a good thing for users, or will it add an extra level of confusion to the search engine results page?
Official press release: Google Begins Move to Universal Search