Significant changes are coming ahead to mobile search. The recent Google announcement claims they’re rolling out new features to enhance how people search using their mobile devices. Some of these features are already available.
These updates are all meant to build on Google’s longstanding goal; to make it possible to search for many things in many ways. It’s also aimed to provide a more visual experience from the inspiration of how younger people use the web. Here’s everything you need to know on what to expect on the Google app for iOS.
1. Google Search Shortcuts
Typing your queries in the standard search bar is just one of the many ways you can use Google’s search option. In addition, you can shop for products by your screenshots, translate text using your camera, or even identify a song through your microphone.
Google shortcuts will present users with buttons that let them take quick actions based on what they are looking for. You’ll be able to locate things even faster now with direct links displayed in the search results through these tappable shortcuts. These advanced search options are available now on the Google app.
2. Refined Search Queries
Google is also making it easier to find the most relevant results by aiding you in your search as you type it. Now, as you type in your search query, Google will auto-populate additional ideas to help better refine what you are looking for. This advanced feature is a form of a query builder, enabling you to simply tap on words once it displays what you are looking for.
You will also see richer information in the autocomplete results as you type. Additionally, Google will refine your query after you search by letting you add or remove topics you want to focus on or not focus on. This helps users drill down various sub-topics as they search and provides other things they might need to know along with it. For example, if you are searching for a vacation destination, the buttons may suggest other topics like culture, weather, and things to do.
3. More Visual Display
Google will also be adding some more visually designed enhancements to the search results. Visual stories, short video clips, tips, things to do, and more will all be displayed to make it easier to explore a subject. This new layout will highlight the most relevant and helpful information across the internet in visual blocks. Users will simply tap on the interesting subject to explore more.
This new display combines text, images, and video into an endless feed of discovery in one place. You’ll no longer have to toggle between the internet, images, and video tabs. Google will display it all on the front page. As Google states, this combination is a way of “reimagining” the way it delivers search results.
In addition, users can explore related queries at the bottom of the search page. You can choose to get more results by simply touching the “more search results” button or by scrolling vertically. These new explore options are designed to better reflect how users explore topics.
4. Multisearch Expanding
Google Multisearch, powered by Google Lens, lets you use your phone’s camera to search by image and then add an additional text query on top of the image search. Google then uses both the image and the text to show you visual search results. Through the Google App, users can click on the Google Lens camera icon on the right side of the search box, then point their camera to capture something nearby. They can also use an existing photo in their camera. Once the photo is selected, users swipe up on the results to bring it up and tap the “+ Add to your search” button.
Multisearch will also expand into “near me” search queries, enabling you to search for products or anything via your camera but also providing you with local results. For example, let’s say you want to see if a local restaurant has a specific dish. Users can search for that particular item by typing its name and “near me” to see a list of results with images showing where it’s available nearby. It will also let users search for versions of dishes that are vegan, vegetarian, or spicy.
Prior to this change, search results were compiled off of data centered around related searches. Those results could be hit to miss. To make the new feature more accurate, Google is drawing on data from sources that include reviews, photos, and videos submitted by users to Google Maps, along with updated information displayed on businesses’ websites or Google Business Profiles.
5. More Integration of TikTok and Instagram
Core Google searches, including Search, Maps, and even YouTube, are being impacted by a growing presence of social media searches. Google announced it has plans to better integrate TikTok and Instagram into the search results. They acknowledged that users, particularly younger generations, are turning to TikTok and Instagram to kick off their web searches instead of Google. In 2020, Google began featuring short-form videos from TikTok and Instagram in their own carousel on the Google App. The following year, Google reported it was seeking search deals with Instagram and TikTok. These deals would allow them to get the data they need to index and rank videos.
This data will enable Google to index content and return it when it’s relevant to the user’s results. Providing a more refined search result. With TikTok and Instagram’s current barrier to entry for content, Google is limited in its capability to provide accurate videos to users. With new indexing negotiations in play, we may soon see an expansion of social media-related visual content in Google Search.
A big takeaway from this is the influence younger generations have now on technology and user experience. Google won’t exactly admit Gen Z’s web usage as the drive for these changes, but it did acknowledge their influence. Simply put, Google is adapting its business model because users are changing the way they start their search queries.
Businesses and marketers alike should take note of these changes to better optimize their own business models, particularly with mobile search. If you need help leveraging your digital marketing plan to get more customers and foot traffic, we’re here to help. Get in touch with our team to get started.