Google, at an industry event in San Jose, Calif., gave a preview of possible search marketing changes to come, including queries that go beyond keywords, image-driven searches and improvements for mobile queries. "We need to get better at connecting users with advertisers," said Nicholas Fox, Google AdWords business product management director.
Google's new universal search on its home page takes a "holistic" approach by providing users with results for news, archived news, photos, video, scanned books and other sources from one search query. The changes mark the first major retooling of Google's home page in several years, and gives the online giant the ability to offer both video and display ads there.
With AOL trying to revamp itself as an ad-driven portal and Yahoo! playing catch-up to search rival Google, the two companies are the most likely online players to merge this year, according to Merrill Lynch, which adds that Microsoft also could emerge as a suitor for either AOL or Yahoo!