Google Search is getting improvements based on language understanding to deliver a conversational experience. This new experience will use context from your recent activity on the search engine to suggest relevant queries you were looking to ask next. The update will also enable Google to provide an easier-to-use experience for people who want to utilise its search to find something to explore, such as a movie to watch with family. The Mountain View, California-based company will eventually be able to leverage the ongoing changes to enhance user retention on its search engine and make it more robust against the competition.
As highlighted in a blog post, Google didn’t carry over the context from one query to another in the past. So, for instance, if you searched for turkey recipes and then moved to a query on “craving,” you wouldn’t receive any result related to your first search. Instead, Google would just “use the most common interpretation” to deliver a traditional result that isn’t that personalised or relevant to what you wanted.
However, using the language-understanding capabilities, Google will be able to determine what you’re looking to learn after finding results about turkey recipes and will accordingly provide you with a helpful suggestion at the top of your search results page. It will be available under the title “Suggested based on your recent activity.”
The experience available through the update sounds similar to how Google Assistant allows users to ask follow-up questions. However, it will be targeted at a much larger audience than the one using Google’s digital assistant.
The new language-understanding capabilities also enable Google to identify what you wanted to search when you’re exploring a particular topic.
“Say you’re looking for a movie the whole family can enjoy. As you search through family-friendly holiday flicks like The Polar Express and A Christmas Story, Google may detect that you’re exploring related ideas and show a list of similar movies to help you more easily browse for the perfect pick,” Google Search Product Manager Bobby Weber wrote in the blog post.
The list of similar movies will be available on top of your search results to help you pick a title related to your previous searches.
Aside from bringing suggestions based on previous queries, Google is improving its search engine by surfacing “more relevant questions” under the “People also ask” list.
“Prior to introducing these features, if you had searched for ‘how to make a napkin fan,’ Google might have helped you discover additional information by showing you similar questions such as ‘How do you make a cone napkin?’ With contextual learning, Google can source even more relevant questions in the ‘People also ask’ section, like ‘How do you make a turkey out of a cloth napkin?’” Weber said.
In the recent past, Google has brought a list of changes to its search engine to deliver an improved experience. The company last month announced that it “significantly” improved its deep neural network spelling algorithm to understand what users want to search even if they didn’t spell it correctly. It also improved core search algorithms and started allowing users to add their favourite movies and TV shows directly to a watchlist. Similarly, Google started indexing specific passages from webpages to start showing specific sections from webpages.
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