Google might be under some pressure from government leaders for being too big, but that isn’t stopping the search engine giant from celebrating its 20th anniversary with some cool new features.
On Monday, the company released several new features that aim to make its search functionality more visual and more appealing. As social media elements become part of the overall framework of Google, it is putting its best foot forward and shaping itself up for the next decade. While the company isn’t likely looking to take over the social media domain, it is aiming to help users navigate through search results just as easily as they navigate through social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
The new suite of updates and features will fundamentally transform the way in which we search and the way that search results look on both desktop and mobile. While Google’s core — typing some words into a plain search box and getting back a list of relevant results – will remain the same, the next decade of Google search will look a lot social media platforms with news feeds, photos, and Stories as part of the search engine feel. In simple terms, we will begin to see elements of Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Facebook integrated into Google’s search offerings.
Here is a basic rundown of Google’s latest announcement:
Google is making AMP stories more frequent and more visible within search results. AMP was released in 2016 as a way to boost page loading speed for publishers. While it would seem Facebook would have a corner on this function with Instagram Stories, Google has transformed AMP through artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate stories and pull ahead of the competition. Cathy Edwards, Director of Engineering at Google Images, said that it’s a “more visual way to get information from search and news.”
Google’s personalized feed, known as “Discover,” will be made available to both mobile and desktop users. The feed uses algorithms to identify users’ interests based on their search history and then, creates a feed with related content. Users can save the information that shows up in their feed to collections that are based on topics.
The beloved Images section on Google search is getting a major makeover. The new ranking algorithm will place a major emphasis on results that contain evergreen content such as food recipes. Additionally, users will be able to use the Images tool to find things they are looking for such as a certain piece of clothing or a certain place. Google’s Lens AI technology will detect images or objects of interest and then upon selection, will reveal links to the product pages.
As Google moves into the next decade of what could be a massive search marketing environment driven by the immediacy of social media and visual content, there is opportunity for advertisers and marketers to drive sales, boost creativity, and implement targeting strategies for both image-based and voice-based search. With an emphasis on photos, videos, and stories, search results are about to get sophisticated.