Google rolls out new features to improve the search experience for uncertain searchers  

Over in the US, Google has launched a raft of new features that will help improve the search experience for those who are unsure what they’re looking for or want to find something new.

Google’s new features went live last week, and they intend to make it even easier for searchers to take a deeper dive into topics related to their search. The changes have been rolled out to English users in the US on the Google app on iOS and Android, and the mobile web.

Historically, Google users have been able to filter search results so they only see news, images, videos or shopping results. However, Google’s newly-released features now allow users to view an easy-to-scroll list of related topics alongside these filters at the top of the search results page.

As a result, users will find it easy to either drill down in detail about a specific topic, or discover something new. Users will also have the ability to add or remove topics (which are designated by a + symbol). This way, users can choose to either zoom in or backtrack on a search.

For example, hungry searchers who are looking for inspiration may search for ‘dinner ideas’. These searchers will now be shown related topics, such as ‘healthy dinners’, ‘dinners for two’ or ‘easy dinners’.

By tapping on a topic, a searcher can add the topic to their query. This way, they can quickly refine their search results. The new topics are also dynamic, meaning they change as a user types. For example, if someone taps on ‘healthy dinners’, they may next receive suggestions for ‘healthy vegetarian dinners’ or ‘quick and healthy dinners’.

How does Google determine which topics to show?

When you conduct a search, Google’s systems automatically display relevant topics for that search. Google determines what is relevant based on what the company understands about how people search and by analysing content from across the web.

The topics and filters you’re shown are placed in an order based on how Google’s systems determine which topic will be most helpful for your query. If you don’t see a particular filter you want, you can find more using the ‘All filters’ option, which is available at the end of the row.

Google Search's new topic filters make it easier to refine results or expand searches | TechCrunch

image courtesy of TechCrunch

Google’s new features – the view from Spike

Google Search’s new topic filters will once more make it easier for searchers to find what they’re looking for. This is because these topics will make it simpler for people to either refine the results they’re seeing or expand their searches.

Site owners in the US should be wary that these search refinements may lead to more or less traffic coming to their site, depending on if these refinements lead to or distract from queries their site ranks for. If you’re in the US, you should keep an eye on your top-performing queries to see if these dynamic topic refinements have rolled out for those queries yet.

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