Author Archives: Search

Finding fresh, helpful information through featured snippets

Sometimes when you use Google, you’re seeking information when timeliness matters, even if your query doesn’t spell that out. For example, when you search for something like “income brackets,” it’s likely that you’re looking for this year’s tax information, not last year’s.

tax screenshot

U.S. income brackets were updated for 2019, so recent information is most helpful.

On the other hand, for many queries, the most useful information isn’t necessarily found among the most recent web results. For instance, if you ask “Why is the sky red at sunset,” the underlying explanation doesn’t change over time, and the clearest description is often found on an older page. Prioritizing fresh content wouldn’t necessarily yield better results. 


At the core of Search is language understanding, and our systems don’t understand language the same way humans do. This is why we’re constantly developing new ways to better understand your searches and provide relevant results, especially in cases where there is useful context that is implied, like whether freshness matters.


As part of our ongoing efforts to make Search work better for you, a new algorithm update improves our systems’ understanding of what information remains useful over time and what becomes out-of-date more quickly. This is particularly helpful for featured snippets, a feature in Search that highlights pages that our systems determine are most likely to have the information you’re looking for. For queries where fresh information is important, our systems will try to find the most useful and up-to-date featured snippets.  


Here are some examples where fresh featured snippets are especially helpful. You might be looking for information that is updated on a regular basis, like the next full moon, the winner of a reality TV show, or upcoming holidays. 

UK school holidays


Other information gets more accurate over time. For example, as an event approaches, we learn more specific details. A fresher page about an upcoming TV premiere might have more specific information and other useful content, like trailers, that you can click through to view.

Stranger Things season 3


Sometimes a query is related to current events, so fresh sources are particularly important. If you’re searching for a food recall, for example, you probably want to find the most recent information with guidance for that specific issue.

Listeria recall - before
Listeria recall -- after

Above: Before launch, a snippet pointing to less recent information. Bottom: After launch, information about the most recent recall.

Content on the web is always changing—sometimes at rapid speed, depending on the topic—so our results for any given query can change along with it. (In fact, that’s why you may not currently see some of the results above.) 


We strive to always update  our systems to keep our results relevant and useful. Some of the changes we make may not always be obvious, but we hope we are always able to help you find the fresh information you’re looking for.

Source: Search


Finding fresh, helpful information through featured snippets

Sometimes when you use Google, you’re seeking information when timeliness matters, even if your query doesn’t spell that out. For example, when you search for something like “income brackets,” it’s likely that you’re looking for this year’s tax information, not last year’s.

tax screenshot

U.S. income brackets were updated for 2019, so recent information is most helpful.

On the other hand, for many queries, the most useful information isn’t necessarily found among the most recent web results. For instance, if you ask “Why is the sky red at sunset,” the underlying explanation doesn’t change over time, and the clearest description is often found on an older page. Prioritizing fresh content wouldn’t necessarily yield better results. 


At the core of Search is language understanding, and our systems don’t understand language the same way humans do. This is why we’re constantly developing new ways to better understand your searches and provide relevant results, especially in cases where there is useful context that is implied, like whether freshness matters.


As part of our ongoing efforts to make Search work better for you, a new algorithm update improves our systems’ understanding of what information remains useful over time and what becomes out-of-date more quickly. This is particularly helpful for featured snippets, a feature in Search that highlights pages that our systems determine are most likely to have the information you’re looking for. For queries where fresh information is important, our systems will try to find the most useful and up-to-date featured snippets.  


Here are some examples where fresh featured snippets are especially helpful. You might be looking for information that is updated on a regular basis, like the next full moon, the winner of a reality TV show, or upcoming holidays. 

UK school holidays


Other information gets more accurate over time. For example, as an event approaches, we learn more specific details. A fresher page about an upcoming TV premiere might have more specific information and other useful content, like trailers, that you can click through to view.

Stranger Things season 3


Sometimes a query is related to current events, so fresh sources are particularly important. If you’re searching for a food recall, for example, you probably want to find the most recent information with guidance for that specific issue.

Listeria recall - before
Listeria recall -- after

Above: Before launch, a snippet pointing to less recent information. Bottom: After launch, information about the most recent recall.

Content on the web is always changing—sometimes at rapid speed, depending on the topic—so our results for any given query can change along with it. (In fact, that’s why you may not currently see some of the results above.) 


We strive to always update  our systems to keep our results relevant and useful. Some of the changes we make may not always be obvious, but we hope we are always able to help you find the fresh information you’re looking for.

Source: Search


Get the scoop: The ice cream America is searching for

Nothing says summer like the jingle of an ice cream truck—and cooling off with a (quickly melting) tasty treat. But these days, Americans aren’t just settling for chocolate and vanilla.  To celebrate National Ice Cream Day on July 21, we’ve rounded up this year’s top trending ice cream-related searches across the U.S.—and found more people are looking to experience new flavors, types, forms and even temperatures. 

Global treats    

This year, searches for ice cream have moved away from your typical neighborhood ice cream truck and gone international. Searches for Mexican ice cream have gone up, thanks to people looking to have a taste of the raw milk, hand-churned, wooden-barrelled, sweet and spicy creation. Japan’s creations are also trending, with chewy and colorful mochi sparking interest, along with “fish ice cream,” or taiyaki, fish-shaped cakes that make tasty ice cream cones. And the Italian classic, gelato, has U.S. searchers craving its dense, silky texture. 

Gym worthy

“Keto ice cream” has reached the dessert menu, with people searching for options that cut out carbs. Similarly, Americans are searching for “protein ice cream,” which boosts protein levels by using milk protein concentrate or whey protein. Others who aren’t so diet conscious are searching for fried ice cream. After breading, the scoop is quickly deep-fried to create a crispy shell around it. It’s served warm from the outside, but with a cold, sweet heart.

Unconventionally frosty   

Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry are still ice cream royalty when it comes to searches. But they have some competition. Filipino Ube ice cream has warmed up to Americans with its intense purple color. And green ice cream, like matcha and avocado varieties, has also seen searches grow this year. Snow ice cream is also a big thing this year, and you won’t believe its main ingredient: actual snow!

In case you need a little push to decide what to order, here’s the full list of trending searches on this tasty topic:  

Top trending ice cream types in 2019 in the U.S: 

  1. Snow ice cream

  2. Keto ice cream

  3. Mexican ice cream

  4. Ice cream bars

  5. Fish ice cream

  6. Mochi ice cream

  7. Gelato

  8. Ice cream sundae

  9. Fried ice cream

  10. Protein ice cream

Top trending ice cream flavors in 2019 in the U.S.: 

  1. Strawberry ice cream

  2. Ube ice cream

  3. Chocolate ice cream

  4. Coffee ice cream

  5. Vanilla ice cream

  6. Oreo ice cream

  7. Mango ice cream

  8. Coconut ice cream

  9. Matcha ice cream

  10. Avocado ice cream

Source: Search


A different sort of moonshot: looking back on Apollo 11

When astronauts set foot on the Moon 50 years ago, it was a technological triumph that sparked curiosity across the globe. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins inspired us to learn more about space and life here on Earth. A similar spirit of curiosity and exploration has always been core to Google, with our mission to make the universe of knowledge accessible to people around the world. So on the anniversary of the Moon landing, we’re bringing you new ways to learn about this milestone of human achievement, including new perspectives and stories that celebrate the lesser-known figures who made it happen.


Starting today, in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, you can get up close to the command module that carried Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins to the Moon. To get started, search for “Apollo 11” from your AR-enabled mobile device. You’ll get the option to see the module in 3D, so you can zoom in and check it out from all angles. Using augmented reality, you can then bring the command module into your space—your bedroom, the kitchen or wherever you are—to get a better sense of its size. And later this month, you can do the same thing with Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit and examine what astronauts wore on the surface of the Moon.

Command module AR

You can also explore 20 new visual stories related to the lunar mission directly from Search. When you enter a space-related query—like “Apollo 11 mission”—on your mobile device, you’ll see visual stories from the Smithsonian about the mission, the spacecraft, and the people who made it possible. These full screen, tappable visual stories feature photos, videos and information about the space journey. 

Moon landing Stories GIF

One of the stories that I found personally inspiring was of Margaret Hamilton, known for helping coin the term “software engineering,” and creating the on-board software for Apollo 11. Among other tasks, this software made sure the Apollo 11 lunar module’s system could manage the information it was receiving and safely land on the lunar surface.

Google Arts & Culture has 40 new exhibits about Apollo 11, like Walter Cronkite’s reflections on humankind’s first steps, or a lesson on how to put on a space suit and pack snacks for the journey. There’s a lot to learn--the inside of your command module is a good place to take notes. And there’s more: starting July 15, Google Earth will have several new tours and quizzes to help you visually explore more about the Moon mission, NASA and the world of space exploration.


Space has always been near and dear to our hearts, whether it’s helping you explore the International Space Station through Street View, celebrate the first photo of a black hole, or simply satisfy your curiosity on Google Search. Try searching for “moon” (or “🌙”) on Google Photos to see your snapshots of our neighbor. Ask the Google Assistant questions to learn fun facts about the Moon, like what sports have been played on the surface. And be sure to visit Google.com on the 20th for another special Moon-related surprise. 

Apollo 11 continues to have a profound impact on our planet’s history. We hope this is just the beginning of your space explorations. 🚀

Source: Search


GIF-ing you a way to say LOL, haha or jajaja from Google Images

GIFs have become an essential part of communicating with friends and family. Whether we’re texting, emailing, or posting online, we’re always on the hunt for that perfect GIF. In fact, over the past five years, GIF search interest on Google Images has nearly tripled, as people search for the GIF that speaks most to them.


To make it easier to say “surprised,” “good morning” or “buenas noches” with the perfect GIF, Google Images now has a “Share GIFs” section that lets you share GIFs directly into different apps, including Gmail, Hangouts, Android Messages and Whatsapp.

Share-GIF-hangout.gif

This section is powered by our GIF search engine, something we've been investing in since our acquisition of Tenor last year. Shareable GIFs are made available by content creators, including our partners from streaming services, movie studios, and the YouTube community. Any content provider, GIF creator or GIF platform can submit GIFs to the new section on Google Images by either uploading GIFs to Tenor.com, or connecting with Google’s partnership team via this form.

GIFs appear in this section based on how likely they are to be shared, so that you can find a GIF that captures exactly what you want to say. This feature will be available starting today on the Google app for iOS and Android, as well as Chrome on Android. Over time, we'll bring directly shareable GIFs to more surfaces and mobile browsers, so it’s as easy as possible to share your personality with a cartoon, animal, or something else entirely.

Panda!

Source: Search


How we help you find lyrics in Google Search

When you’re searching for a song’s lyrics, often you’ll see an information box in Search that shows the lyrics on the page. This feature has been under scrutiny this week, so we wanted to explain how it works and where the lyrics come from.

How lyrics appear in Search

Lyrics can appear in information boxes and on Knowledge Panels in Search when you’re looking for songs or lyrics. While we do this to help you find that information quickly, we also ensure that the songwriters are paid for their creative work. To do that, we pay music publishers for the right to display lyrics, since they manage the rights to these lyrics on behalf of the songwriters.

Where the lyrics text comes from

Here’s something you might not know: music publishers often don’t have digital copies of the lyrics text. In these cases, we—like music streaming services and other companies—license the lyrics text from third parties.


We do not crawl or scrape websites to source these lyrics. The lyrics that you see in information boxes on Search come directly from lyrics content providers, and they are updated automatically as we receive new lyrics and corrections on a regular basis.


News reports this week suggested that one of our lyrics content providers is in a dispute with a lyrics site about where their written lyrics come from. We’ve asked our lyrics partner to investigate the issue to ensure that they’re following industry best practices in their approach. We always strive to uphold high standards of conduct for ourselves and from the partners we work with.


To help make it clearer where the lyrics come from, we’ll soon include attribution to the third party providing the digital lyrics text. We will continue to take an approach that respects and compensates rights-holders, and ensures that music publishers and songwriters are paid for their work.


Source: Search


Helpful new visual features in Search and Lens

Sometimes, the easiest way to wrap your head around new information is to see it. Today at I/O, we announced features in Google Search and Google Lens that use the camera, computer vision and augmented reality (AR) to overlay information and content onto your physical surroundings -- to help you get things done throughout your day.

AR in Google Search

With new AR features in Search rolling out later this month, you can view and interact with 3D objects right from Search and place them directly into your own space, giving you a sense of scale and detail. For example, it’s one thing to read that a great white shark can be 18 feet long. It’s another to see it up close in relation to the things around you. So when you search for select animals, you’ll get an option right in the Knowledge Panel to view them in 3D and AR.

ar-search-shark.gif

Bring the great white shark from Search to your own surroundings.

We’re also working with partners like NASA, New Balance, Samsung, Target, Visible Body, Volvo, Wayfair and more to surface their own content in Search. So whether you’re studying human anatomy in school or shopping for a pair of sneakers, you’ll be able to interact with 3D models and put them into the real world, right from Search.

ar-search-visible-body.gif

Search for “muscle flexion” and see an animated model from Visible Body.

New features in Google Lens

People have already asked Google Lens more than a billion questions about things they see. Lens taps into machine learning (ML), computer vision and tens of billions of facts in the Knowledge Graph to answer these questions. Now, we’re evolving Lens to provide more visual answers to visual questions.

Say you’re at a restaurant, figuring out what to order. Lens can automatically highlight which dishes are popular--right on the physical menu. When you tap on a dish, you can see what it actually looks like and what people are saying about it, thanks to photos and reviews from Google Maps.

Consumer_Menu.gif

Google Lens helps you decide what to order

To pull this off, Lens first has to identify all the dishes on the menu, looking for things like the font, style, size and color to differentiate dishes from descriptions. Next, it matches the dish names with the relevant photos and reviews for that restaurant in Google Maps.

Consumer_TrainTicket.gif

Google Lens translates the text and puts it right on top of the original words

Lens can be particularly helpful when you’re in an unfamiliar place and you don’t know the language. Now, you can point your camera at text and Lens will automatically detect the language and overlay the translation right on top of the original words, in more than 100 languages.

We're also working on other ways to connect helpful digital information to things in the physical world. For example, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, you can use Lens to see hidden stories about the paintings, directly from the museum’s curators beginning next month. Or if you see a dish you’d like to cook in an upcoming issue of Bon Appetit magazine, you’ll be able to point your camera at a recipe and have the page come to life and show you exactly how to make it.

Consumer_BonAppetit.gif

See a recipe in Bon Appetit come to life with Google Lens

Bringing Lens to Google Go

More than 800 million adults worldwide struggle to read things like bus schedules or bank forms. So we asked ourselves: “What if we used the camera to help people who struggle with reading?”

When you point your camera at text, Lens can now read it out loud to you. It highlights the words as they are spoken, so you can follow along and understand the full context of what you see. You can also tap on a specific word to search for it and learn its definition. This feature is launching first in Google Go, our Search app for first-time smartphone users. Lens in Google Go is just over 100KB and works on phones that cost less than $50.

Consumer_LensGo.gif

All these features in Google Search and Google Lens provide visual information to help you explore the world and get things done throughout your day by putting information and answers where they are most helpful—right on the world in front of you.

Source: Search


How we search for bow wows and meows

It’s not quite caturday, and we’re a few months away from the dog days of summer, but searches for pets never paws. Around the world, people constantly ask Google questions about their furry friends, so there’s no time like the present for a good old fashioned (OMG-look-at-that-little) face-off.


Data visualization designer Nadieh Bremer, lover of canines and felines alike, worked with our News Lab team to capture all your cat-like curiosity about why your purr-fect pals (or barky buds) act the way they do using Google Trends data. Today we’re sharing a delightful new site that digs into those questions, and even throws us a bone and answers a few.

Why do cats and dogs title

Quirky Questions

Why do cats like boxes? Why are they afraid of cucumbers? (Scaredy cats!) Why do they like to knead soft surfaces? You asked (literally), and we (attempt to) answer. Visit the site to explore these questions, and more!

Dog eat grass

Why do dogs...

  • Lick

  • Eat grass

  • Eat poop

  • Howl

  • Hump

  • Smell

  • Bark

  • Shake

  • Scratch

  • Bite

Cat knead

Why do cats...

  • Purr

  • Knead

  • Lick

  • Meow

  • Bite

  • Rub

  • Scratch

  • Eat grass

  • Sleep so much

  • Like boxes


Global Pet Preferences

We may not all definitively be a cat or dog “person,” but when it comes to searches, every country leans one way or another. Dive in and doggie-paddle around in nation-by-nation data.


Dog and Cat Searches Globally

If the site didn’t quite satiate your need for pet knowledge, I’ll leave you with my own assessment that answers some of the most iconic cat and dog questions of all time:


Do cats really rule? Inconclusive. Do dogs really drool? I’ve seen some evidence.

Source: Search


Get the scoop on Hollywood’s big night with help from Google

It’s awards season, and that means glitz, glam and gold statues. Google is making it easy to keep up with your favorite flicks and celebs no matter where you turn, with new ways to stay up on the buzz with Google Search, Google Images and Google News.  

And as we await the announcements of Sunday’s winners, we took a look at the celebs and movies people have searched for—and the trailers they’ve watched on YouTube—to see who and what is capturing our attention, both on and off the screen.

Red Carpet Read-out

It’s arguably everyone’s favorite part of the night. Actors and actresses alike strut their stuff on the red carpet, and many people turn to Google Images to check out their camera-ready looks.

Stay up-to-date on your favorite celebrities this Sunday with a special “Latest” section on Google Images, available on mobile web browsers. If you search for pictures from the red carpet, or a celebrity nominated for an award, Google Images will not only show you the most relevant web pages and photos from across the web related to your search, but will show you the most recent images, too.

But before we get into this year’s red carpet looks, we decided to look back at the past 10 years of worldwide Oscars fashion searches on Google Images to see which stars shone brightest:

  1. Anne Hathaway
  2. Jennifer Lopez
  3. Jennifer Lawrence
  4. Charlize Theron
  5. Scarlett Johansson
  6. Cate Blanchett
  7. Natalie Portman
  8. Halle Berry
  9. Angelina Jolie
  10. Olivia Wilde

Popular Performers

To help you learn more about your favorite celebrities, we recently launched stories on Knowledge Panels in Search, which provide an overview of notable moments from their lives and help you visually discover information from across the web. For the first time, we’re bringing these stories to Google Images, and we’re also introducing new stories about popular events like award shows.

Rolling out this week, if you search for nominees on Search or Google Images, you’ll see a story showcasing information about their nominations, fellow nominees and other nods they’ve received throughout the 2019 awards season.  Searches for “Oscars” have been on the rise leading up to the big night, and Search can help you explore more info about the films and actors, and stay up to date as results roll in on Sunday. If you want to go in depth, Google News will help you dive into all the news stories behind the nominees, red carpet, presenters and more.

You may have your guesses about which roles will earn top acting prizes, and we have the trends to see who’s coming out on top in Search. Here are the nominees leading the pack in search interest for Sunday’s top categories:

Actor in a leading role

  1. Bradley Cooper
  2. Rami Malek
  3. Christian Bale
  4. Viggo Mortensen
  5. Willem Dafoe

Actress in a leading role

  1. Lady Gaga
  2. Melissa McCarthy
  3. Glenn Close
  4. Olivia Colman
  5. Yalitza Aparicio

Actor in a supporting role

  1. Sam Elliott
  2. Adam Driver
  3. Sam Rockwell
  4. Mahershala Ali
  5. Richard E. Grant

Actress in supporting role

  1. Emma Stone
  2. Amy Adams
  3. Rachel Weisz
  4. Regina King
  5. Marina de Tavira

Favorite Flicks

If you’re placing any bets on the big screen’s best films of the year, perhaps you can take a hint from top lists from Search and YouTube. Even if they don’t take home a statue, these films have captured people’s hearts this year.

Top viewed Best Picture trailers on YouTube

  1. Black Panther
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody
  3. A Star is Born
  4. BlacKkKlansman
  5. Vice
  6. Green Book
  7. The Favourite
  8. Roma

Top searched Animated feature film nominees

  1. Incredibles 2
  2. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  3. Isle of Dogs
  4. Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse
  5. Mirai

Top searched Foreign Language Film nominees

  1. Roma
  2. Cold War
  3. Shoplifters
  4. Capernaum
  5. Never Look Away

Top searched Best Documentary Feature nominees

  1. Free Solo
  2. RBG
  3. Minding the Gap
  4. Of Fathers and Sons
  5. Hale County This Morning, This Evening


Thank you to my agent, producer, director, fellow castmates and everyone who made this blog post possible. *orchestra begins playing, exit stage right*


Source: Search


Supporting the military community for whatever’s next

In August 2018, Google made a commitment to veterans, military spouses, and service members transitioning to civilian careers. At that time, we announced a job search experience that uses military occupational specialty codes to connect service members and veterans with open jobs that call for skills developed during their time in service.

In the months since, we’ve continued our work to make it even more useful for those who are searching for civilian jobs and the amazing people who support and guide them. People like Kristen Rheinlander, who works as the Transition Site Manager of the USO Pathfinder Program at Fort Hood, Texas. A self-described Army brat whose father served in the military for 25 years, Kristen came to the USO as a volunteer 4 years ago. Today, she heads up a team that works with service members and their families as they prepare for a new challenge: figuring out what comes next.

GWG image1

Every new challenge has a first step, and for Kristen, it starts with helping people see the connections between the skills they developed in the military and civilian jobs. By introducing her clients to the Google Search tool early in the process, she’s able to show them the types of occupations that align with their expertise, whether demand for a field is projected to grow, and active job listings in a given geographic area. It’s a confidence booster, she says—the search tool is a translator that “puts words to the unknown,” providing greater clarity for clients unsure of which roles, companies, and industries align with what they’re looking to do next. After finding a lead through the Google Search tool, Kristen works with her clients to begin crafting resumes that highlight their military experiences in language civilian employers use and understand.

Helping people find connections between skills developed in the military and civilian jobs is just one of the many ways we’re working to create useful tools and programs for transitioning service members, veterans, and military families—a community that’s sacrificed so much in service to our country. For the over 2.5 million veterans who’ve decided that their next step is owning their own business, we’ve created a “Veteran-Led” attribute for their Google My Business profiles. With this badge, veteran-led businesses stand out across Google Search and Maps. And for transitioning service members and military spouses who are interested in the growing field of IT support, we’ve made it easier for them to earn Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate through a $2.5 million grant to the USO.

Visit Grow with Google to learn more about job search and our other tools and programs for veterans.

Through these resources, we’re working to help service members, veterans, and their families prepare #ForWhateversNext.

Source: Search