frontpage - 3:09 pm on Sep 22, 2011 (gmt 0)
"Sometimes the best, most useful answer to a query is one of the traditional 10 blue links,'" Google states. "But sometimes it's a news article, sports score, stock quote, flight times, video, shopping results, or a map--any of which we may place above or among the other results from across the Web. Every search engine has shifted toward providing more answers directly in the search results--because it's what consumers want."
What this means is that Google search results are not purely the product of the Google search algorithm. Rather the search results generated by Google's ostensibly neutral search algorithm get augmented with other links when Google's other algorithms determine an answer can be provided by, say, presenting a Google Maps link. This aggregation of search systems is called universal search.