Google made an interesting change two weeks ago, ranking and integrating web links, books, images, music and more all in a single search results page. Images and videos are displayed with thumbnails. I especially like the way results from Google Video and YouTube are displayed:
Clicking on the link or the thumbnail takes you to the video’s page on Google Video or YouTube, and clicking on the Watch Video link lets you watch it directly from the search results page.
In addition to the integrated search results, there are links just above the search results to some of the specialized Google search types that have results for your search terms, which makes it easy to just see the images, music, videos, etc. But you should be aware that even when a search type doesn’t appear here there may still be useful search results if you click on the links at the top of the page.
For example, a search on Louis Armstrong shows links for Web, Music and Images, but not Videos. Clicking on the Videos link at the top of the screen, however, finds over 3,000 matching videos.
- Jack Teagarden — Web, Music and Video
- Tai Chi — Results from Web, News, Videos
- Slackline — Results from Web, Products, Videos
- Search Engine Land: Google 2.0: Google Universal Search — A useful article with lots of links by Danny Sullivan
- Universal Search : The Best Answer is Still the Best Answer — Announcement from the Official Google Blog
- Reade/Write Web: How Does Google Universal Search Compare to Yahoo! Alpha, Ask X, Microsoft Imagine Live & Google’s Own Searchmash? — An article by Josh Catone comparing Google’s Universal Search with other search engines