Google seems to be concentrating quite a lot these days to improve search. All of last year and beginning of this year, Google has been doing something else other than working on its search. But now the limelight has come back to search. Video indexing using Video Sitemaps was announced yesterday and today Google is talking about how it has improved its news search.
Its more like Google Blogsearch, but it has more relevant search for news events. There is a new site operator like [site:sunnytalkstech.blogspot.com Programming], which will help you gets news from a specific site. Even if you have forgotten the exact news spouce, it can help you with an ajax'd search field, which will show you the matching terms on the incomplete keyword you have typed. All in all, the new news search is pretty well done and is pretty good for searching latest news. If you are searching news, then its better than using the normal Google homepage.
Another interesting development at Google is the new video sitemaps. Video sitemaps is an addition to the current "sitemap" protocol that is used by websites to inform search engines about the content hosted on the domain. Video sitemaps is Google's addition to the protocol and will be used by Google to index and get notified about videos. You can find the standard XML template example here. On that blog, one comment pointed out that "<video:whatever /> elements" should be used to the normal sitemap XML, which in my opinion is the right thing to do. Doesn't make much sense to create two sitemaps for people who dont have video-only content. I think this new sitemap for video is good for people who have video-only content and not for the general webmaster...
Google is "the" search engine and advanced news searching is a very good improvement along with Blogsearch, video indexing and a few new things Google is doing to give you more relevant results.