Google is constantly rolling out updates, and some are more significant than others.
However, with every update that Google releases, it aims to improve user experience, which is evident in its new update currently being rolled out in the United States.
Google’s new personalised search experience aims to show searchers more information about what they’re looking for and care about directly in the search results. How is Google doing this? By providing a range of new, personalised search features.
So, what do these new updates mean for user experience, and will these updates reach Australia any time soon?
Google Updates Occurring In The US
Google is currently in the process of rolling out a new “Follow” button in Google search. This new button was first rolled out in the United States with the aim of keeping searchers up to date on topics they’re interested in.
Essentially, the “Follow” button allows searchers to subscribe to their favourite topics.
So, how does this button work? When you search for something in Google, you will see the “Follow” button next to it. Clicking on the button means that you’ve subscribed to the topic. Once you’re subscribed, Google will then automatically let you know that you’re following the topic, and you can look for updates in your home feed on the Google app.
News for you section
Another update Google has brought out is the “News for you” section that shows searchers news, topics and content around the topics they’ve followed.
Google may also adapt the search snippets to show you specific content in the search results based on the topics you follow.
Google Discover updates
Once you’ve clicked on the “Follow” button for a certain topic you’re interested in, Google Discover may send you notifications when new content around that topic may be useful to you.
Google Discover may also announce new search buttons to click on for topics you’re subscribed to, allowing you to dig deeper into that topic. This has already been tested with the “get the latest on” search button.
Search results from your favourite/most frequented sites
Another exciting and personalised update from Google is a new ranking feature that looks at the sites you visit the most and shows them more often in the search results.
Similar to “previous query”, which showed you different results based on your immediate previous query, this new update is more specific as Google looks at the sites you visit most often for long periods and shows you that site more than others.
So, if you visit a certain site frequently, Google may decide to rank content from this site over others writing about the same thing. At the same time, your friend may see different results ranked differently.
For this feature to work, you don’t need to “Follow” a certain topic; Google just sees the sites you visit most and shows you them more often.
Google search history
Google may also add a “you visit often” label to the search results based on your search history on Google.
There is no way to turn off this feature without turning off all personalisation or signing out of Google Search when you conduct your search.
Others’ Perspectives in Google Search
Another update that is being rolled out in the United States is the Perspectives feature, which helps you learn from others in the search results.
Google has been testing Perspectives since August 2022 and is now rolling it out in the English US results. The Perspectives carousel will appear below Top Stories and showcase insights from a range of social media platforms, journalists, discussion forums, experts and other relevant voices on the topic being searched.
Google will also be showcasing more information about the person/people who created the content directly in the search results. This includes the content creator’s social media account, follower count and more.
The Impact of the Updates
Since these Google updates have only recently been rolled out in the United States, it’s hard to say what the impacts will be. However, here’s what we think will happen:
The “Follow” button
How will “Followed” results impact the overall search engine results? Will they be shown over the traditional organic results? We think that if they do, it will become a much more important element of digital marketing.
Competing with a “Followed” website in search results will require compelling search listing copy and brand familiarity.
Shining a light on content creators
With the new “Perspectives” feature highlighting social media influences and content creators, it’ll be more important than ever to partner with those creators to gain search visibility and credibility.
The Potential of the Updates Reaching Australia
While these updates have already been rolled out in the United States and some in India, it’s hard to say when they’ll eventually make their way to Australia.
After Google Search Generative Experience expanded to 120 countries and counting, we can expect to see both SGE and Google Personalised Search arriving in Australia sometime in 2024.
Stay On Top of Google Updates with Anchor
Google releases core updates every few months, with smaller updates happening every month, so it can be hard to stay up to date.
Whether it’s updates regarding SEO practices, changes to Google Ad, or anything in between, the team at Anchor Digital constantly keep up to date with all of the changes that Google brings out.
Our team of experienced and professional marketers prioritise staying on top of updates so that you don’t have to. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your business thrive in the digital space, drop us a line today.