In the most significant upgrade of its search engine in years, Google Inc. has added videos, book excerpts and local store information on its main results page, eliminating the need for users to visit the company's separate, specialized sites.
The Mountain View company unveiled the changes Wednesday as part of a plan called universal search that aims to make more kinds of information accessible from a single Internet search box.
Users will see that Google's results, traditionally a long list of blue links and snippets of text, are peppered with images for certain searches. For example, a query for "Steve Jobs" brings up several images of Apple Inc.'s co-founder at the top of the results, plus a video of him down the page from Google's video service, YouTube.
Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder, called the new approach "the largest revamp we've made to search in at least a few years."