As Prabhakar Raghavan, Senior Vice President from Google, stated: “The way people seek information isn’t confined to a text box. Nowadays Google is going far beyond the search box to create search experiences that work more like our human minds.”
Last week Google presented its event Search On 2022 where the latest features and tools were presented for Google Search. Due to the advancements of machine learning, more innovations are possible - to the extent that we can now search by combining images, sounds, text, and speech. In this article, I will highlight some of the most interesting changes and new features that we can expect to see in Google search in the coming months.
#1: Focus on environmental impact
The whole world is focused on having a positive environmental impact. Google would also like to contribute to an environmentally friendly world by making it easier for people and businesses to make more sustainable choices. The following highlights will be released soon:
- Finding fuel-efficient and eco-friendly cars.
When looking for a (new) car, we will be able to find more efficient and eco-friendly cars. Also, Google will help users calculate the annual fuel costs for the cars they are looking for. This will also be made available for electric cars soon.
- The eco-friendly route in Google Maps.
When planning our next trip, we can choose to take the eco-friendly route in Google Maps to get to our destination. Save fuel and the environment when travelling by car.
- Shopping pre-owned items
Later this year, Google will highlight products which are pre-owned in its shopping results so that we can make an eco-friendly choice when shopping online.
#2: Bringing users closer to online discussions and forums
When we have a question about something or want to see what other people’s opinions are on a discussion topic, we look for forums and online discussions. Google will help users connect to these online discussions more quickly through their new feature called “Discussions and forums.” When you search for something that might benefit from the diverse personal experiences of others found in online discussions, this feature is really useful. For example, a question might be: what’s the best car for a big family?
#3 Breaking down language barriers
In early 2023, a new feature will be launched that will give people a simple way to find local news using automatic translation by Google. That way, when something happens in a different country where they speak a different language, you will still be able to read the news and understand what’s happening on the other side of the world. The translation will be available from French, German, Spanish to English on mobile and desktop.
#4: Making shopping easier
We’ve all noticed and/or experienced that shopping via a simple Google search query is possible. Google aims to improve the shopping experience even more by releasing the following features:
- Searching with the word “shop”
When you start a Google search query with the word “shop” and then type in what you are looking for, you will be shown a visual feed full of products and nearby inventory related to that product.
- Shop the look
In addition to having a wide assortment of products, a “shop the look” feature will also be available so that you can shop for matching clothes or items that complete the look.
- See trending products
Next to that, Google will also show trending products in the first row of your shopping-related search query so that you are up to date with the latest (fashion) trends.
- Shopping filters
At the top of your search query, a few filters will also appear to help you filter out the right products. For example, you might be shopping for jeans. Filters that might appear could be “bootcut” and “skinny jeans” to help refine your search for the perfect jeans suited for you.
- 3D images
Today we still shop based on static, 2D images. Soon we will be able to see 360-degree spins of products we want to buy.
- Buying guide
Let’s say you want to buy a bike. You might not know anything about bicycles. Google can help you buy complex products with its new buying guide. This buying guide gives you helpful insights about a category from a wide range of trusted sources.
“Your camera is the new keyboard.” [Prabhakar Raghavan] With multi-search we can use a combination of images and text to get to our desired search result. This way you can ask questions about what you see without knowing exactly what to call it.
You can also use multi-search to find food near you. Let’s say you ate something amazing at a party once. Take a picture of it and search for it with Google Lens. Google will help you find a restaurant that serves that food so that you can enjoy it again quickly.
#6 Local updates
There are also updates in Google Maps that will make it feel more like the real world. Three very cool new features are:
- Neighborhood Vibe Feature
Before going to a new neighborhood, explore it via Google Maps. Check out what type of restaurants there are, which places to visit and what it’s like. See helpful information and photos from the Google maps community. That way you won’t end up visiting an area without knowing what to expect.
- Photorealistic Aerial Views
At this moment Google has created 250 photorealistic aerial views of popular landmarks around the world, from the Tokyo Tower to the Acropolis. Explore these landmarks as if you are right there!
My personal favorite: Liveview has been introduced. Here you can use Google Maps in real life. When you are walking on the street with your phone, access the camera and Google will show you which places are nearby or how you need to walk – in real life.
#7: Personalized experience
Last but not least, Google aims to continue to provide a personalized search experience based on your interests. Google will continue to provide a personalized shopping experience by quickly showing results from brands that you like. Next to that, you will also be able to find personalized cooking recommendations based on your interests. For example, recommendations for recipes you might like to try will pop up in the search results.
Are you looking forward to the new way of searching?
Google is planning to release many new features, all of which will fundamentally change the way we search. By using multi-search, we as growth marketers cannot solely rely on keywords to form a great Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy anymore. Next to that, we must take a close look at the content on our website and provide the correct information in the right way so that Google can read the information and use it in one of its many helpful ways to answer a user’s questions. And let’s not forget to focus on a local strategy so that our brick-and-mortar locations can be found as well. Are you ready for the new way of Google search?