Google will soon add blogs as a new feature in its Universal Search results, marking the first new genre since the company launched the initiative May 16. Starting this week or next, queries on the leading search engine will return links to blogs alongside the images, news, books, local maps and video, Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, told eWEEK in a briefing at the company's headquarters here. Blogs have been gaining significant momentum in the last couple of years, fueled by everything from fascinating news revelations to gossipy snipes. The inclusion of blogs as a genre on Universal Search is a nod to their growing number and ability to get people to go online to find content, which is what Google is all about.
Universal Search is the fruit of a five-year effort involving hundreds of engineers working to refine the company's search algorithms and add multimedia content to its search returns to give users richer results. Google is not the only major search vendor to corral different content types to boost the value of search results. Ask.com launched its Ask3D platform June 5, presenting query answers in a three-panel screen that includes links to content and lists of related results from blogs, video, news, photo and shopping sites. Microsoft followed Sept. 27 with Live Search, and Yahoo upgraded its search software Oct. 1. Mayer doesn't have to venture far to do a pulse check on how Universal Search is doing; she is beginning to hear some anecdotal evidence about how the new infrastructure has fared.