More on this as I get better connectivity and figure out my flight options. I’m stuck in La Guardia in thunderstorm hell. Here’s SEL:
Google is undertaking the most radical change to its search results ever, introducing a “Universal Search” system that will blend listings from its news, video, images, local and book search engines among those it gathers from crawling web pages.
The new system officially rolls out today for anyone using Google.com and searching in English. Not everyone will see it at first, but over the course of the next several days, Universal Search should be more, well, universal.
I plan to write about this at length if I ever get on a plane…
Update: Several of you have noted in comments that Google’s new approach to search is old news – Ask and A9 and others have had these kind of services for quite a while. True, for the most part (they have not combined them as aggressively as Google promises to). First, it’s notable that Udi Manber is making his first tuely public appearance as the face of Google search this week, and it’s not a coincidence that many of the search innovations he pioneered at Yahoo and A9 are now showing up at Google. Second, regardless of whether or not Google is simply playing catch up, the fact that it has decided to do this is quite significant. And it will no doubt send the folks at Ask and other places into paroxsyms, Google will, because it’s the market leader, get credit for what others have already done. Jim Lanzone, you now know what it feels like to be Steve Jobs when Windows came out…..
Lastly, and very importantly: this “gradual change” to a multi-media search result is a very tangible step toward the execution of intent-driven web navigation – and advertising. Expect display and video ads on the home page of Google very soon.
PS – I am focusing on family matters for much of the rest of the week. Back at it as I can be….