'Universal Search' integrates all the company's applications.
There is a saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, problem is there another saying: “Don’t rest on your laurels”. Google has decided on the latter…
The Internet giant is reworking its searches so that results also integrate (hopefully) relevant links from its images, blogs, news, maps and video services. Google claims this approach will provide greater assistance for users while cynics argue it is mudding a famously simple service and tailoring results to advertise its expensive purchases like YouTube.
Google is dubbing this evolution ‘Universal Search’ and it has already begun to roll it out on searches from Google.com. It will be expanded to regional Google pages should it prove popular.
“With universal search, we’re attempting to break down the walls that traditionally separated our various search properties and integrate the vast amounts of information available into one simple set of search results,” said Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP Search Products and User Experience.
So what is it like? Using some of the ‘favourite searches’ which Google specifies in its official announcement – phrases like ‘steve jobs’, ‘nosferatu’ or ‘downtown los angeles’ – the system works very well highlighting the appropriate biographical, imagery, mapping or video.
There are clearly chinks in the armour however since something as simple as ‘Shakespeare’ currently produces three biographical results, followed by three results which make the curious assumption you want to read “As You Like It” before showing more obvious links like ‘Shakespeare Online’ and ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare’.
With Universal Search Google clearly isn’t resting on its laurels but it has introduced some growing pains into a previously seamless experience…