Earlier this month, Google hosted an unusually low-key 20th anniversary and future of search event. At the event, Google revealed several new updates, improvements and expansions of existing capabilities.
The two Google Search related announcements introduced new Activity Cards and improved Collections:
This new feature will display “where you left off in search”, highlighting previous pages/ sites visited and previous search term queries used. Google explains that these results will not show up every time or for every search term. In addition, users will have the ability to edit and remove results from the Cards.
This feature has been available in Google Ads for a while now, however, the new, updated version can be closely tied to Activity Cards. Collections now allow users to save and organise content on their mobile phones. People using Google to search will now be able to save pages to their Collections, directly from Activity Cards. Within this, there will also be suggestions for related topics.
Collections already existed, but it’s not clear how many people have been using it. Collections allow users to save and organize content on their phones. The new version of Collections is closely tied to Activity Cards.
Google is adding a “Topic Layer”, designed by scanning all the content that exists online for a particular topic and develops hundreds of subtopics. From this, Google identifies the most relevant articles and videos and then analyses patterns to understand how these subtopics relate to each other. Ultimately, this allows Google to display the type of content you may want to explore next. In the picture below, Google are displaying distinct subtopics for each dog breed. Google have based this on their AI understanding of the relationships between the breeds and related queries and content.
During the event, Google announced that the Google Feed has 800 million monthly active users, and is quickly becoming a source of traffic for third-party publishers. On this basis, the Google Feed has evolved into “Discover” and will be available on the mobile version of the Google homepage.
Within this update, Google have introduced several design improvements and the addition of new features.
Now, users are able to follow topics and select whether they want to see more or less content on a particular topic. Also, each news or content item will now be accompanied by a topic heading that is effectively a search term, allowing users to learn more about the particular topic. Finally, Google will be adding more video content to the feed.
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