Google Search On 2022 was full of updates, and the key theme — Search Outside the Box — is really referring to the now-trending 'multisearch,' which is currently available in English language. It will be coming to 70+ more languages in the next few months.
In the recent update named 'bringing more voices to search,' Google talks about the upcoming features that help find what people are saying online as well as break down language barriers. There will be a new feature on introducing discussion and forum content (from the likes of Reddit and Quora) within the SERPs, rolling out in the US in English, as well as showing translated news content from French, German, and Spanish into English on both mobile and desktop to help users access the most relevant information about local events. Google appears to have great confidence in their AI translation capabilities from these languages, given that they are willing to feature them over content that's been written by humans in the given language.
Additionally, Google wants to encourage users to continue to use more than just keywords in their search queries. They are making search more natural and intuitive by allowing the combination of text, voice, and image as part of one search query. Today there are 8 billion+ searches on Google lens every month, and this is very likely to expand even further with the global rollout of multisearch.
The more natural and intuitive search means a number of updates to the Google app experience and Discover, including shortcuts, results in the search bar, enhanced query refinements, and more. Google broke down these updates into 4 categories across Maps, Food, Shopping and Sustainability.
If I want to sum up the map improvements in one world, I'd say that Maps is really transforming into a metaverse. Google has been using weather data, computer vision, and predictive models — as well as the 20M daily user contributions— to build a 3D map where you can explore places, get a vibe check, and confirm how busy a place might get, as well as find parking and a sustainable driving route there. There are over 250 landmarks where you can now use immersive view to see a 3D model of the landmark. Soon, you'll be able to do research on specific areas in cities to understand the vibe of specific areas. LiveView will also become searchable for places in the area, instead of just using it for orientation.
Speaking of exploring places, did you know that 40% of people already have a dish in mind when they search for restaurants? Google is using machine learning to soon start to highlight the vibe and feel of a restaurant, as well as helpful insights by using images and reviews. They want to improve digital menus and make them visually rich and reliable as well as provide better functionality to reserve tables and order food directly from Google.
There are also 9 new updates coming to Google shopping, with the goal to make the online experience more inspiring and trusted. Google is introducing more visual ways to shop, as well as providing a tool within the app to get help and learn more about specific products. They also use the new filters and suggestions as part of this improved experience, rolling out first in the US, Japan, and India.
Later this year, they will introduce a 'shop the look' image search feature, trending products, and shopping in 3D, where you can see a 3D visual of the product within Google search. Furthermore, they are adding a 'see what others think about this product' tool to improve the confidence of shopping on Google, as well as adding inspirational shopable content on Google Discover.
The last topic of Search On 2022 was Sustainability, where Google has shared some new features and rich results to help users make more sustainable decisions. Sustainable options will be improved across shopping for products, driving routes, and food choices, from visual clues on highlighting pre-owned items in the shopping feed to adding greenhouse impact information under recipes based on their ingredients. With the rollout of eco-friendly routing on maps, this will also be available in preview for developers later this year.