Google is introducing a more personalised news feed to its mobile app. The Google search updates are tied to the company’s 20th anniversary.
The feed, called Discover, will show users of the official Google mobile app curated content including news, sport highlights and YouTube videos. The content you see on your smartphone will be based on the content you’ve previously consumed when signed into your Google account.
It’s claimed the new Google search updates will make the search engine “more accessible and useful for people everywhere”. Which is always nice to hear.
Not so much new as …improved?
Google first introduced a news feed of trending content last year. But this update will show you more so-called “evergreen” content. This content isn’t necessarily new but (according to Google) will be of interest to you.
The Google search updates will also enable you to edit the types of content you’re shown. You can move a slider that appears on cards in the feed up and down. This tells Google whether you’d like to see more or less of this type of content.
Google also revealed new features to help you carry out what it called longer “journeys” in search. This feature enables you to retrace your search steps through new activity cards and to quickly return to recent searches.
Image search updates
Image and visual searching is also being revamped. Google is partnering with open source initiative the AMP Project which allows anyone to create a social media story-style collection of images and videos and publish them online. Google Images and the Discover feed will then begin to show some of these visual stories.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning will also be used to offer more visual search results. Google will offer featured videos if the search engine finds any it believes are linked to a search.
Ben Gomes, vice president of Search, News and Assistant at Google, said the aim of the new Google search updates was to keeping improving the search engine for the next 20 years.
“When Google started 20 years ago, our mission was to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” he said.
“That seemed like an incredibly ambitious mission at the time. Even considering that in 1998 the web consisted of just 25 million pages (roughly the equivalent of books in a small library).
“Fast forward to today, and now we index hundreds of billions of page. More information than all the libraries in the world could hold. We’ve grown to serve people all over the world, offering search in more than 150 languages and over 190 countries.”
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