Google launches new personal search experience with follow button and personalized ranking
Plus, perspectives is coming to desktop, content creators get more visibility and more.
Google is rolling out a more personalized search experience that aims to show searchers more information about what they care about directly in the search results. This is being done with several new search features, including a new Follow button, search results tailored to you, perspectives results updates, creator snippets and more.
Follow button in Google Search
Google is rolling out a new “Follow” button in Google search that aims at keeping you up to date on topics that you want to keep coming back to search for. The follow button allows searchers to essentially subscribe to topics where Google can show searchers content on that topic, Brad Kelle, Senior Director of Engineering, at Google Search explained to us.
How to subscribe. When you do a search and see the “Follow” button, you can click on that button to subscribe. Google will then tell you are you’re following that topic and you can “look for updates in your home feed and when you revisit this search.”
Here is what the follow button looks like:
Google will also enable notifications, if you are using the Google App, to push you new content on that topic.
You can always unfollow and unsubscribe from topics.
Note, this feature does not work for “sensitive” topics and is first launching in the US English search results within the Google App and mobile search results in the coming weeks.
What changes. Google may add a section named “News for you” that shows you news topics and new content around the topic you followed. This includes an update to how the perspectives feature works in that section.
Here is what this looks like:
Google may also adapt the search snippets to show you specific content in the search results based on what you follow.
Google Discover may also send you notifications when new content around that topic may be useful to you.
Also within Google Discover, you may see search buttons to click on for topics you subscribed to, so you can dig deeper into Google Search on that topic. We have seen Google test this with the “get the latest on” and other search buttons. Here is what it looks like:
Search results from your favorite sites
Google will also roll out a new ranking feature that looks at which sites you visit often and show those sites more often in the search results. This is similar to previous query, where Google may show you different search results based on your immediate previous query, but in this case, Google is looking at which sites you often visit over a longer period of time and showing you that site more often than other sites.
So if you visit this site frequently, Google may decide to rank content from this site over other sites writing about the same topic, specifically for you. While your friend may see different results ranked in a different order.
You do not need to “follow” a topic or query for this feature to work, this is an independent feature from that mentioned above.
Search history. Google said it would let me know how long you search history is retained for this level of personalization. There is no way to turn off this feature without turning off all personalization or signing out of Google Search when you conduct your search.
Here is the screen to unfollow topics:
What it looks like. Google may add a “you visit often” label to the search results that were personalized for you.
About this result. Google will also show you in the “about this result” feature if that result is ranked higher because you visit the site more often.
Later this year. Google said this is rolling out in Google Search later this year for English users within the US.
Others’ Perspectives in Google Search
Google is also updating the Perspectives feature to help you learn from others in the search results, the company said. When you tap on the perspectives filter within Google Search you can now see content from social media platforms, discussion forums, blog posts and other communities.
Coming to desktop. Perspectives launched on mobile and we saw Google testing perspectives on desktop. Google will now officially launch perspectives on desktop in the US in the coming weeks.
Creators details. Google will also be highlighting more information about the people who created that content, the content creators, directly in the search results. That includes showcasing their social media account, follower count and more.
What it looks like. We saw Google testing this a while ago and this will be rolling out officially today in the US and India, within the Google App and mobile search results:
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