Google Inc. said on Wednesday it is combining its different Web search services into one “Universal Search” service that will present Web sites, news, video and other results on one page.

This was a significant overhaul of Google’s widely-used features, and took effect  Wednesday, they also say that this exciting move will be  improved over time, executives told reporters at the company’s “Googleplex” headquarters.

Notice some interesting comments:

I think of it as a pretty natural evolution, with the one interesting thing being the video side of it,” said Martin Pyykkonen, an analyst with Global Crown Capital.

The thing everyone is wondering right now is what will an advertiser be willing to pay for a video link,” Pyykkonen said. “From the advertiser standpoint, I think they will be interested in how to hook their customer better.

What does “Universal Search” mean? Simply this, typical or standard Google searches will draw results from other properties such as news, images, local information, books, and video, 

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.”

You may have also noted that Google has changed the appearance of their standard home page, have you seen the changes?  What are they?

Well for one, I noticed that they have included more navigational links.  This comes at no surprise given the fact that Google has been adding “Google” products & features like crazy and hardly the general populace sees them.  Look below and check out the new layout or you can read an interesting story and see these screen shots from Danny Sullivan, “master SEO dude” check it out.  Danny also a good article on this universal roll out, as does CNN.


                                   Old                                                                                New

More Drop downs

One final thing I noticed, was that in search results, they added a little grey gradient color change right below the search box?  It may seem like a small change, but take into consideration Google has not altered the look of their results page in many moons, (other than recent sponsored listings box)

Bottom line, this was a HUGE announcement in the search engine arena……