Google held its Search On event last week. While the highlight was a preview of its MUM technology and how this will be harnessed in search, a number of new features related to search and online shopping were also announced. All of these will be of interest to SEO, marketers and online retailers alike.
New visual results page
Google has rolled out a newly designed browsable visual results page which it says is designed for inspiration.
"...just search for “pour painting ideas" to see a visually rich page full of ideas from across the web, with articles, images, videos and more that you can easily scroll through."
Searchable images on Google Lens
A new button in the Google app for iOS will make all images on a page searchable through Google Lens.
Google is also bringing Lens to Chrome on desktop. Users will be able to select images, video and text content on a website with Lens to quickly see search results in the same tab.
Google says these features will be arriving soon.
Window shop from Search
It’s now easier to browse for clothing, shoes and accessories on mobile, right from your search results. For example, if you search for “cropped jackets” Google will show a visual feed of jackets in different colors and styles, as well as information such as local shops, style guides or videos. You can filter by various options and check out the best deals. It’s powered by Google’s Shopping Graph which was announced earlier this year, and is available now.
Check inventory from home
Many shoppers research online before shopping in-store. Google’s new feature makes it possible to find which local shops have the products you want right from Search. Use the “in-stock” filter to see only nearby stores which currently have the product in store.
Evaluating information online
Google also announced an expansion of its About this result feature, and a way to flag up when relevant or helpful information just isn’t yet available.
About this result
Google’s About this result feature was launched earlier this year to help combat misinformation by allowing people to find out more about the information they see online.
About this result currently shows details of a website including its description, when it was first indexed and whether it is a secure connection to the site.
Google says in the coming weeks it will be expanding to bring more context about the sources and topics. It will show:
- See more information about the source: As well as the Wikipedia description, you’ll see “what a site says about itself in its own words”, when that is available.
- Find what others on the web have said about a site: News, reviews and other helpful background context to help you evaluate the credibility of the source.
- Learn more about the topic: Further information such as top news coverage or results about the same topic from other sources.
This update will be rolling out in English to the US in the coming weeks, with a wider rollout also planned.
Fast moving story warning
Google highlights relevant fact checks on results in Search, News and Google Images. It will now let you know when helpful or relevant information just isn’t yet available on the web, with a recommendation that you check back later or try a different search.
This can often be the case in rapidly evolving situations, or when relevant information simply doesn’t yet exist, when interest overtakes facts, resulting in conjecture and rumours.
We look at the previewed MUM search capabilities in a separate blog post.