Google has recently introduced several updates for Search, with the updates mostly driven by AI to give people more relevant results. In addition, the updates are set to give people new ways of searching. 

Here’s a summary of the Google updates you need to know about. 

1. Searching with misspelt words

Through a new spelling algorithm, Search can now understand misspellings and their context to give you more relevant results. This is a pretty nifty update, given that one in 10 queries every day is misspelt. 

2. Get more specific answers

Now, Google doesn’t just index web pages; they also index individual passages from the pages. Through AI, Search can directly point out specific sentences in a page that answer your question. 

3. Get a broader range of information

Prefer to have a broader range of information? With neural nets, Search will deliver to you subtopics that you may be interested in. 

For instance, if you search for “home exercise equipment”, the results will also include subtopics such as budget equipment and equipment that are suitable for small spaces. 

4. Live busyness information updates

Google Maps showing how busy a few places are
You’ll soon be able to see how busy a place is via Google Maps, without searching for it.
Image credit: Google

This is one of the most useful tools to have this year, given the need for social distancing. 

Previously, you could get this information by searching for a specific place. With the new update, you’ll soon be able to see how busy a place is on Google Maps, without having to search for that particular place! 

5. Key moments in videos

Screenshot of a search result showing key moments of a cooking tutorial video
You can now easily find that one step in a recipe that you’re unsure of.
Image credit: TechCrunch

Don’t like watching long videos? Through AI, Search can now understand the semantics of videos to identify the key moments in them, helping you navigate sections of these videos easily. This is especially helpful if you’re just looking for that one single step in a cooking tutorial. 

It’s expected that 10% of searches will feature this update by the end of 2020. 

6. Find statistics easily

Google Search showing the number of people who are employed in Chicago.
Through AI, Google can show you statistics in a visual manner.
Image credit: Google

Google has been working on the Data Commons Project since 2018 to bring together various datasets from different sources. 

With the new update, Google uses natural language processing to dive deep into their database to provide the statistics in a visual format that’s easy to understand. No more looking through various sources just to get a few statistics! 

7. Advanced search for journalists

Journalist Studio comprises a new set of tools to help journalists do their work more efficiently. 

Its key feature, Pinpoint, allows reporters to look through countless documents quickly by identifying and organising the most frequently mentioned people, organisations, and locations. 

8. Visual search with AR and Google Lens

Screenshot showing how Google Lens can help solve a math problem.
Google can now help you solve math problems.
Image credit: TechCrunch

You may have some problems that you can’t just type on the search bar to get the answer. Math problems are an example. 

With the new features in Google Lens, you can simply point your phone camera to your math problems to get a step-by-step guide to solve it. This works for chemistry, biology, and physics problems too. 

Screen record of how Google Lens can help you find similar products by tapping on an image.
Simply tap and hold the image of a product on Google or the Chrome app to find where you can get it.
Image credit: Google

It will also become easier to shop and discover new products as you browse on mobile. 

Love that new top you saw in an article but not sure where to get it? Google Lens will help you find the exact top or a similar one when you tap and hold the image on the Google or Chrome app. It will also give you suggestions on how to style it. 

9. Search for a song by humming it

Gone are the days when you need to know the lyrics to search for the name of a song. With the new feature on Google app, you can just hum the song and the AI feature will match the melody to the right song. This works even if you don’t have perfect pitch! 

What these updates mean to businesses

Given the pandemic, people are increasingly relying on the internet to live, learn, and work. More businesses are also moving online and digitalising their operations. 

With these updates, more businesses will get found online and enjoy a boost in brand awareness. But this is only possible if your brand website is search-optimised

Need help in optimising your website? We’re here to help.