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Google to provide “conversational” Search experience


Google to provide “conversational” Search experience

In a recent post on its official blog, Google announced one of the latest updates to Search, which is set to provide a deeper understanding of users’ search queries and provide more tailored results.

According to the search giant, the new update is based on its “newest language understanding capabilities”. Google set the scenario of having a conversation with someone where a number of questions on the same topic are asked in a row, but between each question, the other person forgot what was being talked about – and until this new update, that same scenario applied to Search.

Now, however, as many user queries are part of a series of different searches related to a single topic, Google is set to carry over the context from one search query to the next. In its blog, Google said of the update:

“Thanks to our newest language understanding capabilities, it’s now easier for you to get to a more specific, on-topic search, navigate a topic you’re interested in and find additional information relevant to that topic.”

The new update will deliver on three points: understanding what a user is searching for, making exploration easier and providing information that is more relevant.

The example Google gave to explain the new update was centred around Thanksgiving, which has just taken place in the US. Prior to the update, let’s say a user was searching for recipes for turkey, and then made an additional search for “carving”. Carving has numerous meanings, but in this example, it’s quite obvious that the searcher wants information on turkey carving. However, if turkey carving wasn’t the most popular interpretation in its ranking results, Google wouldn’t show results for it.

Now, if a user was to make this search, when searching for the term “carving”, blue text – much like the well-known “Did you mean” feature – would appear at the top of the results, offering “turkey carving” as an option “suggested based on your recent activity”.

To make exploration easier, Google will be able to detect when a user is searching for related topics. If, for example, you were searching for a Christmas film to watch with the family, and you searched for “Home Alone” and “The Grinch”, Google would detect the trend of family Christmas films. On making your second search, “Related to Home Alone and The Grinch” would appear at the top of the screen, displaying numerous other films that might be of interest.

I think most would agree that this is a handy tool to have over the Christmas period to help shorten the time spent finding a film!

To surface information of more relevance, Google has developed a deeper understanding of context to provide better follow-up questions. The example Google provided for this was a user querying how to make fan out of a napkin. With the deeper contextual understanding, the search engine can consider the previous queries of turkey recipes and provide a “People also ask” suggestion of “How do you make a turkey out of a napkin?”

The new update highlights the continuous development and improvement of Google Search to benefit users and predict what people will be searching for. Similarly, at Engage Web, we always provide content for our clients that their customers are searching for, allowing them to become experts in their fields and drive traffic to their site. If you want to learn more about our services in providing content and search engine optimisation (SEO), get in touch with our team today.

Emily Jones

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