Google to make Search and Maps ‘more immersive’

Today, Google’s search engine looks a little different. Results pages are now often filled with shopping items, maps, news articles, informational newsletters and advertisements before people can scroll to the results list – the blue links have become synonymous with service.

On Wednesday, at an event called Search On in San Jose, California, Google executives signaled that the search engine would be catching up on Silicon Valley’s latest trends, continuing its quest for success. The company’s journey away from text queries and results to a greater focus on visuals and “immersive materials.”

For example, when people search for vacation destinations, they’ll see what Google calls “visually transitional” search results – organized blocks of photos like the Stories displayed. on Snapchat or Instagram, along with maps and photos from travel sites that link to guides.

Users will be able to search on Google using images and text simultaneously, such as pointing their camera at an armchair or shirt, and fine-tuning their queries with text. “The camera is your next keyboard,” Prabhakar Raghavan, senior vice president at Google, wrote in a blog post.

“We have continued to create more natural and intuitive ways to find information,” Raghavan wrote of the changes he said the company expects to make in the “coming months.”

Wednesday’s event was the third annual Search On, which began a few months after Mr. Raghavan gained oversight of the search engine and related divisions. Google regularly does thousands of changes into its search engine every year. Although many are small, collectively, they make noticeable changes to those who use it.

Google revolutionized the way people find information online in 1998. In the decades since, Google has attracted billions of users to turn to the service to find nearby restaurants, Look up movie times and verify their friends in fact.

The internet is a messier place today than it used to be, and Google has responded by providing more and more ways to access its information services and trying to keep up with the prevailing technologies to attract customers. Generation Z. However, the updates are still subtle developments of a winning – and very profitable – formula.

The company in 2020 introduced Live View in Google Maps, allowing people to use their camera to figure out where they are and get directions. Users can now search with Live View, raise their camera so Google can point them to the nearest ATM or coffee shop, using augmented reality – overlay technology digitally onto images of the real world.

AR is expected to be one of the next battlegrounds for Google and its competitors, along with associated virtual reality.

Cathy Edwards, vice president and general manager of Google Search, said that while the company knows Gen Z has “strong visual preferences,” it’s not interested in building products for just one person. population segment.

However, the company seems inspired by young users when naming a new Maps feature, which shares the best attractions in unfamiliar areas based in part on user reviews. user. Google calls it “Vibe Neighborhood”.

Chris Phillips, vice president and general manager of Google Geo, which includes Maps, writes: “Check out the vibe before you visit.

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