Google Universal Search is a way that Google “blends” results from “vertical” search engines like Google Images or Google News into its web search listings. Google Launches “Universal Search” & Blended Results covers the launch of the system in May 2007; Google Universal Search Expands covers how it grew in 2008. Both provide good background for understanding the system today, as does Search 3.0: The Blended & Vertical Search Revolution. Below are articles with the latest developments with Universal Search.

An Insider’s View Of Google Universal Search

Google's Universal Search was definitely a buzz generator at Search Engine Strategies in San Jose. Universal was tagged as probably the most significant development in search this year, and its effects are just starting to be felt throughout the industry, by both searchers and search marketers alike. It’s particularly timely that this week’s guest columnist is Google’s David Bailey, who heads the team working on Universal Search. Today, David shares the reasoning behind the team's work on Universal Search, along with some examples of how it works.—Gord Hotchkiss In May 2007 [...]

Google Universal Search Means Looking For Raccoons Is No Longer Family Friendly

A reader tipped me off to this. Search for raccoon, and Google Universal Search puts some pictures up at the top of the page: See it? Third one over? I didn't know a dog and a raccoon could, well... To be fair, Microsoft Live does the same thing: Yahoo also shows the happy couple, but only if you specifically do an image search. Ask doesn't, clearly exhibiting a bias against raccoon-dog love. Have a good weekend, everyone :) [...]

Making Google Universal Search (Sort Of) Work Like Ask3D

Google Universal Search and Ask3D are two different approaches to the same thing: how to blend results from various search databases into a single page. Ask has received praise for being more elegant in its presentation. What if you could make Google act like Ask? You can, with a new Greasemonkey script. Encyclopedic Google from Google Operating System explains the Google Extra script more and how it removes Google's ad column on the right-hand side to insert results from images, video, Wikipedia and Don't have the script but like the idea? Searchmash is Google's test si [...]

Search Illustrated: Google’s Universal Search Explained

Google recently made what Danny called "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." Danny went on to write a massive, multi-part post explaining Universal Search and its implications for both searchers and search marketers. Today's Search Illustrated sums up Google's new approach in a simple, straightforward way: Graphic by Elliance, an eMarketing firm specializing in results-driven search engine marketing, [...]

London Car Bombs: The Big Fat Search Failure

I was in London last night right smack in the area where a large bomb was defused this morning. Naturally, I was curious about what exactly had happened. I hit the news sites, but then I wondered what would happen for those searching generally for information using search engines. Both Google and in particular have promised that their new search interfaces should naturally get us relevant news information. Both failed, as far as I'm concerned. Let's take a look. To test, I looked for [london bombs]. I think that's a reasonable way many people would be seeking information about what hap [...]

Mossberg, “Goes Much Further” Than Google Takes Lead In Designing Display Of Search Results by Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal reviews's new 3D look. Mossberg gave great reviews, comparing's three-pane approach to Google's Universal Search approach. Mossberg said "took greater strides" than Google with their user interface. The new user interface makes for a "better advance in unifying" the different levels of vertical search options available to the searcher, said Mossberg. He explained that this makes "search results easy to navigate and use" than's competitors. [...]

Some Q&A On Recent Google Video & YouTube Changes

When Google launched Google Universal Search, we saw changes in how Google dealt with video in regular result and in Google Video. Yesterday brought more changes. Danny and I had several follow-up questions related to these. Google representative Gabriel Stricker spent the time with me answer some of them. The answers below are not quotes, but rather my understanding from my conversation with Gabriel. How does Google protect the search results from showing inappropriate content? Users can only mark videos as inappropriate if Google hosts the content. For example, if you find a video -- an [...]

Google Maps & YouTube Are Big Traffic Winners in Google Universal Update

Bill Tancer of Hitwise released new data comparing Google's web properties before and after the release of Google Universal Search. As we know, Google Universal Search changed how Google's vertical search results appeared in the main Google web search results. Overall, Google Maps and YouTube saw the biggest increase, while book search and image search took the biggest dive in traffic. Google Maps saw a 20% increase in traffic because prior to Universal search, Google only displayed map results for a very limited set of queries. Now, Google Maps results are far more common and take up to [...]

Video Hits Google Universal Search & Google Video Now Live With Meta Search?

Since the announcement of Google Universal Search, I have been waiting eagerly to see videos show up within Google's search results. Last night, it finally started. For me, it was for a search on star wars kid (here's more about him). You can see the embedded video showing up in the middle of search results in the screenshot below: By clicking the "+ Watch video" option, a new box appears allowing you to watch the video within the search page: I am glad I see it, I suspect many others can see this as well. Over at Google Video, something different is happening. Google Blogoscoped Foru [...]

Universal Search Spawns New Format For Google Maps

In conjunction with Universal Search, the Google Maps team created a new "text view" that features images of local businesses and a smaller map. The placement of ads is different, below the map on the right. And there's a pull-down menu to adjust distance. Here's an example for "coffee houses, New York." The traditional "map view" is a click away. One way you get to text view is by clicking on "local business results ..." in what formerly was the Google Maps OneBox (now Universal Search). You can also get there from the "text view" link within Maps. Below is a screenshot of the new text vie [...]

Mayer Suggests New Ad Units Might Show Up On

In December, 2005 after the AOL deal was announced, Marissa Mayer declared, "There will be no banner ads on the Google homepage or web search results pages. There will not be crazy, flashy, graphical doodads flying and popping up all over the Google site. Ever." Today Mayer implied that Google is considering allowing ad types other than traditional text ads onto search results on The casual comment below was in response to a question about how Universal Search and the inclusion of video and different media types might affect advertising on Google SERPs. However, it was something [...]

Google Launches “Universal Search” & Blended Results

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 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. A new navigational interface has also been unveiled for Google and is covered more in the companion piece to this ar [...]

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