Google has changed its Internet searches into “Universal Search” service by combining results from its established Web search service with offerings that help users find videos, images, maps and other content. “Universal Search” means that standard Google searches will draw results from separate properties covering books, local information, images, news, and video, according media reports Friday quoting Marissa Mayer, vice president of search and user experience.
“It’s breaking down the silos of information that have been built up. It’s a broad, long-term vision that will unfold over the next few years,” Mayer said. “We are really excited about what Universal Search could evolve to in the future.”
The combined search includes any site indexed by Google’s services. On the video side, for example, it will include YouTube, Google Video and independent sites like Metacafe.com.
The upgraded service not only provides the links of texts related to the certain queries, but also video clips or photographs by entering a query in Google’s specialized services for video or image searches.
Furthermore, the new navigation features at the top of every Google page will allow users quickly “drill down” to particular types of information if they wish to focus exclusively on specific categories such as news, said Mayer.
Google also said “very soon” it will launch software that translates queries from any of a dozen languages into English, scours the internet for relevant web pages and then converts the results to a searcher’s language.
“That, in effect, will make the web universal,” Google vice president of engineering Udi Manber said while describing the “cross-language information retrieval” feature.
“We have been working on translating all of the web to all languages. The results are probably not perfect, but the information you want will be there,” he added.
Google had 54 percent of all U.S. search queries in March, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, compared with its rivals Yahoo with 22 percent search services and Microsoft with 10 percent.