Google has revamped its search engine for the first time since it launched back in 1997.

So far the changes are quite moderate but Google said that within a few months, big changes are set to happen as part of its Universal Search project.

Among the new features is a menu bar at the top of the web page which makes it easier to switch between search results from the web, images, news etc. Further down, you'll see links to other searches that Google thinks could be related to the search you just made.

Google aims to introduce these and other changes in the next few months. New features will be added one by one so that users won't feel lost, Google said.

Collated results

Google's aim is to create a 'universal search model', meaning that search results from the different Google categories - web, images, news, video, etc - will be collated on the same page so that the user won't have to switch between pages.

For example, a search for 'Bill Gates' would bring up relevant web links, images of the Microsoft chairman, books written about him, etc. All this information will be displayed on the same web page.

The changes have so far only appeared on Google.com but the company said the new features would be added successively to other countries and languages.

Google started working on its new look in 2001 and some 100 engineers and designers have been working fulltime on developing the new design.

Some of the new functions that Google is planning to introduce can be found on the Google Experimental web page.