Category Archives: Inside Search Blog

The official Google Search blog

Brush up on Gboard’s latest tips and tricks

Today Gboard for Android is getting an upgrade. In addition to our continued efforts to improve typing quality with machine intelligence, this update brings new ways to get creative and cut down text time.

In the emoji search box, you can now tap the emoji handwriting icon to draw emoji directly onto the screen. Your drawing will automatically be recognized and show results for your favorite emoji.😎

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To help you up your texts per minute, Gboard now includes phrase suggestions to predict what you plan to type next. For example, try typing “looking forward” and Gboard suggests “to seeing” or “to it” as you type. This is supported in English today and will be rolling out to more languages soon.

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When you’re searching in the keyboard, we’ll now offer multiple results for you to browse through, making it easier to search and share in any app. In addition, on a card, you can click through to go to Maps, call a business, or watch a YouTube video. Just press the G or arrow->magnifying glass in the suggestion strip to start searching.

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Finally, Gboard now supports more than 200 language varieties, and we’re also adding suggestions and gesture typing for Azerbaijani (Iran), Dhivehi, French (Belgium), Hawaiian, Maori and Samoan, and simple keyboards so you can type and text in Dzongkha, Ewe, Navajo, Tsonga, and K'iche'.

To test drive these updates to Gboard for Android, head to the Google Play Store and make sure you’re running the latest version of the app (version 6.3).

Source: Search


Searching for art just got better. Where will you start?

While some are drawn to the strong brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, others prefer gazing at the gilded glory of Klimt’s The Kiss, but one thing is certain: people love art. In fact, each month, there are more than 500 million art-related searches on Google. Now whether you’re a casual fan or a true culture vulture, Google can help you become an art expert. Starting today, when you search for art-related things, you’ll have access to more relevant results and the ability to dive deeper into topics of interest. We’ve also added a new feature in Street View (think digital museum guide!) that gives you key insights about the artworks on your virtual museum visits.

Explore more art right from Google Search

To help make your search for art a masterpiece, the Google Arts & Culture team joined forces with Google Search engineers to improve how our systems understand and recognize artworks, the places you can see them in person, the artists who made them, the materials they used, the art period they belong to and the connections among all these.

Now when you search an artist like Gustav Klimt, you’ll see an interactive Knowledge Panel that will highlight ways you can explore on a deeper level, like seeing a collection of the artist’s works or even scrolling through the museums where you can view the paintings on the wall. And for some pieces, you can click through to see picture-perfect high-resolution imagery right from Google Arts & Culture.

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Google Arts & Culture, your virtual museum guide

You can visit hundreds of museums around the world right from your laptop with Google Maps and Google Arts & Culture. And starting today your virtual Street View tour is more informative on desktop and in the Chrome browser on mobile. Now as you walk through the rooms of the museums on Google Maps you’ll see clear and useful annotations on the wall next to each piece. Clicking on these annotations will bring you to a new page with more information provided by hundreds of the world’s renowned museums. You’ll also be able to zoom into high-resolution imagery—getting you closer to these iconic works than you ever thought possible.

To create this feature, we put our visual recognition software to work. Similar to how machine learning technology in Google Photos allows you to search for things in your gallery, this software scanned the walls of participating museums all over the world, identifying and categorizing more than 15,000 works.

Searching for art just got better. Where will you start?

Discovering the art world has never been easier on Google, and we hope this inspires you to brush up on your art knowledge. So take a moment. Dive in. Who knows—with a stroke of luck, you may find yourself drawn...to art!

Source: Search


The High Five: trending searches this week

The tragic attack in Manchester was top of mind for many searchers this week. Here's a look at what people wanted to know, and four other trending topics from the week of May 21.

Attack in Manchester

This week, a terrorist attack in Manchester, England claimed the lives of 22 people attending an Ariana Grande concert. People turned to Google to make sense of the event, searching to find out what happened, where the bomb went off, and who was responsible. Top countries searching for “Manchester” since the attacks include Mauritius, Ireland and Uganda, while the top U.S. states are New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

BRETter prepare

Search interest in “hurricane season” spiked 160 percent when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that it predicts an “above average” Atlantic hurricane season this year. The organization expects five to nine hurricanes, which led people to search “Is NOAA ever right about the number of hurricanes?” and “How does NOAA predict hurricanes?” Here’s one thing we do know: The next hurricane will be named Bret.

Noses are red

On Thursday in the U.S., we celebrated the return of “Love Actually” Red Nose Day, which raises money and awareness to end child poverty. To honor the cause, the cast of “Love Actually” got back together for a 12-minute sequel, and stars like Ben Affleck, Ed Sheeran, Ellen DeGeneres and Emma Watson donned their red noses. Despite the backing from A-list celebs, people still turned to search for more info, like “Where can I get a Red Nose?” and “Where did Red Nose Day originate?” Fun fact: Though Rudolph used to dominate the red nose game, the biggest spike in searches for “red nose” now occur in May for Red Nose Day.

Pandora-monium

On Saturday, Pandora World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando (what would Walt think if we called it Pandor-lando?). You don’t have to rely on your CGI-inspired imagination anymore, this park is REAL (and it’s not built from unobtainium). Search questions ranged from the logistical: “What day does Avatar land open?” to the more curious: “How much did it cost to build Pandora World?” to the niche: “What font is used for Disney’s Avatar land?”

It was 50 years ago today

Fixing A Hole in our hearts since 1967, this weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the release of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Fans got a little help from a friend (that’s us!) when they searched for the origin of the Beatles’ name, where they’re from, and why they broke up. And who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned British pop rivalry? Search interest for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” spiked 600 percent higher this week than when Harry Styles’ album was released earlier in the month, proving that the Beatles’ music is Only Getting Better.


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Source: Search


The High Five: this week brings the heat

It’s a sweaty High Five this week, as things heat up at the FBI, in Montana and for an internet challenge. Here’s a look at a few of the of top trending Google searches from the week of May 8.

Ya fired

This week, many in the U.S. were focused on the firing of former FBI director James Comey, but the buzz also led to searches about Watergate (search interest spiked more than 300%). The number of searches for Comey surpassed searches for President Trump, with queries related to Comey’s whereabouts, why he was fired, “Who will replace Comey?” and “How long was Comey FBI director?” 

Is it hot in here or is it just me?

Montana’s Glacier National Park is really starting to heat up (and not in a good way). According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the glaciers are shrinking by an average of 39%. Scientists say the glaciers will likely be gone in our lifetime, so interest about Glacier National Park is climbing. People searched to find out what’s unique about the park, how it formed and “What animals live in Glacier National Park?” (For our animal lovers: Bighorn sheep, boreal toads, western painted turtles and rainbow trout to name a few). Question from us: will the animals be okay post-melt??

Bow Wow Challenge takes off

This week, rapper Bow Wow was caught red-handed (red-pawed?) when an airline passenger—now internet hero—called him out for flying in Economy instead of the private jet he posted to Instagram. The internet barked back with the “Bow Wow Challenge,” in which people post a misleading glamorous image next to the actual less-glamorous photo. To keep up with the trend, people are searching, “How did the Bow Wow challenge start?” and “What did Bow Wow lie about?” Thanks to this unintended publicity, search interest in “Bow Wow challenge” rose 1000% above searches for his music. Woof.

It ain’t over until the Idol sings

We said goodbye to American Idol in its final season last year, but now it’s getting an encore. Announced this week, the show is coming back for a 16th season on ABC. Search volume went up a few pitches with questions like, “Who will be the judges on American Idol?” and Iis Ryan Seacrest coming back to American Idol?” (As noted in our trends from last week, Seacrest has a new gig). After the announcement, search interest for Kelly Clarkson, original darling of American Idol, spiked 193%.

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Don’t forget!

Mother’s Day is on Sunday (this is your reminder to pick up the phone and call). People are hoping Google can help with “what to get Mom for Mother’s Day,” “what to do for Mother’s Day,” and even “what to write in a Mother’s Day card.” Here’s an idea, inspired by the trends from this week:

Being my mom is the one job you’ll never get fired from, and I sing your praises every day. Global warming aside, my love for you will never melt and to you I’ll always bow. Wow, I’m lucky to have you. Happy Mother’s Day!

Source: Search


Making plans? We can help.

Hear about an amazing event but can’t remember where to buy the tickets? Have trouble finding the right activity to do with your sister who has two toddlers? Looking for something fun to do nearby tonight? Now Google can help. Today on the Google app and mobile web in the U.S., doing a search for events brings up a clear summary of activities from sites from across the web like Eventbrite, Meetup and more, that might be just what you’re looking for.  

To try it, type in a quick search like, “jazz concerts in Austin,” or “art events this weekend” on your phone. With a single tap, you’ll see at-a-glance details about various options, like the event title, date and time, and location. You can tap “more events” to see additional options. Once you find one that’s up your alley, tap it to find more details or buy tickets directly from the website.

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You can also look up events over different time periods, simply tap on filters like "today", "tomorrow", "next week" and more. And if you’re feeling open to more options, you can also try typing “events near me” to see what’s happening around the corner. After all, who knows what fun activities await?

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And for all the event creators out there, check out our developer guidelines to see how you can ensure people see your listings when they’re looking for activities and events on Google.  

We hope this update helps you make FOMO a thing of the past. You’ve got plans to make!

Source: Search


The High Five: off to the races

High fashion, high horses, high five. Here’s a look at five of the top trending Google searches for the the week of May 1.

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All the stars in the Gala-xy

While the world’s most fashionable celebrities and designers gathered at the Met Gala this week, the rest of us followed along by searching for the details: “Where can I watch the Met Gala?” and “What was the Met Gala theme?” This year’s theme honored designer Rei Kawakubo, who designed a flower-forward dress worn by Rihanna. Other celebrities with the top trending dresses were Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Katy Perry, Blake Lively and Deepika Padukone.

Kentucky Derby 

This weekend is the Kentucky Derby, Hence the high traffic on search (with Fast and Accurate results, of course). Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Connecticut and Delaware take the title of State of Honor for the most Derby-related searches. As fans in Churchill Downs don the famous Derby hats and look for a Patch of space with the best view, the horses and their jockeys will be Girvin it their all, Always Dreaming of victory. But before Lookin’ at Lee-ving the house to celebrate with a mint julep, people are searching, “Which horse has the fastest Kentucky Derby time?” “Who’s the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby?” and “What year was the first Kentucky Derby held?”

Guac isn’t the only extra

Chipotle has anticipated exactly what its customers need after chowing down on an enormous burrito. Nope, it’s not a nap. They’re keeping the food coming with a new dessert option—a buñuelo (fried tortilla strips coated in honey and cinnamon sugar). This sweet announcement caused searches for “Chipotle menu” to spike more than 200 percent above other fast food joints. Chipotle enthusiasts can’t wait to try it out, searching “Chipotle new menu and “Chipotle dessert release date.”

The Crown

It was a big week for the Royals. Princess Charlotte turned two, and her great-grandfather Prince Philip announced that he will end his public appearances this summer, retiring at the age of 96. Now that people won’t be seeing as much of the prince, they wanted to find out more about him: “Why is Prince Philip not king?” “What does the British Royal Family do?” and “How long has the British Royal Family been in power?”

Seacrest, in!

This week, Ryan Seacrest was announced as Kelly Ripa’s permanent co-host on morning show “Live!” The new Idol of morning talk shows is already a busy guy—and fans are taking notice, prompting them to find out: “How many jobs does Ryan Seacrest have?” and “How much is Ryan Seacrest getting paid for Live with Kelly?”

Source: Search


The High Five: new discoveries in space and fashion

What did Saturn say to NASA this week? “High Five.” Here’s a look at a few of the top trending Google searches orbiting the week of April 24.

What have you done this week?

For the first time ever, a spacecraft cruised through the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings. Now NASA’s Cassini is beaming information back to the mothership, and telling NASA about all the cool stuff it saw. Science, FTW! After the feat, people searched on Google for more information: “How does Cassini communicate with Earth?” and “How long did it take for Cassini to reach Saturn?” Some were looking for a refresher astronomy course, asking “How far is Saturn from Earth?” and “How many rings does Saturn have?”

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Here comes the tour

Maybe we’re amazed that Paul McCartney is still touring—that guy is Here, There and Everywhere! It’ll be a Hard Day’s Night on the road, but fans twisted and shouted when he announced his 2017 tour dates this week. Though you can’t buy his love, you can buy a ticket to his show. And fans are itching to get those tickets, with questions like “How much are Paul McCartney tickets?” and “When do tickets for Paul McCartney go on sale?” Let it Be soon.

Centi-versary

This Saturday marks President Trump’s 100th day in office, and the first few months of his administration have prompted people to learn more about political concepts and processes. The five most-searched terms related to politics during Trump’s first 100 days are “recuse,” “filibuster,” “vetting,” “executive order” and “immigrant.” Another fun fact to bring to your political debates this weekend: the most-searched names alongside the phrase "Trump handshake”: Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel, Neil Gorsuch, Shinzo Abe and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Clear as mud

Remember when you were a kid and tracking mud in the house got you into trouble? Times have changed—go ahead and get mud all over yourself. Or pay $425 for jeans covered in fake mud. Perplexed (yet intrigued) shoppers have been searching, “What are mud jeans?” and “Where can I buy mud jeans?”

Shifting gears

NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr., is at the finish line—he announced he will retire after the 2017 season. Fans are curious about when and why he is retiring and “Who will replace Dale Earnhardt Jr.?” Though he’s known nationwide, southern regions in the U.S. searched most for Earnhardt this week. Top states included North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina.

Source: Search


Our latest quality improvements for Search

Search can always be improved. We knew it when I started working on Search in 1999, and it’s still true today. Back then, the Internet was expanding at an incredible rate. We had to make sense of this explosion of information, organize it, and present it in a way so that people could find what they were looking for, right on the Google results page. The work then was around PageRank, the core algorithm used to measure the importance of webpages so they could be ranked in results. In addition to trying to organize information, our algorithms have always had to grapple with individuals or systems seeking to “game” our systems in order to appear higher in search results—using low-quality “content farms,” hidden text and other deceptive practices. We've tackled these problems, and others over the years, by making regular updates to our algorithms and introducing other features that prevent people from gaming the system.

Today, in a world where tens of thousands of pages are coming online every minute of every day, there are new ways that people try to game the system. The most high profile of these issues is the phenomenon of “fake news,” where content on the web has contributed to the spread of blatantly misleading, low quality, offensive or downright false information. While this problem is different from issues in the past, our goal remains the same—to provide people with access to relevant information from the most reliable sources available. And while we may not always get it right, we’re making good progress in tackling the problem. But in order to have long-term and impactful changes, more structural changes in Search are needed.

With that longer-term effort in mind, today we’re taking the next step toward continuing to surface more high-quality content from the web. This includes improvements in Search ranking, easier ways for people to provide direct feedback, and greater transparency around how Search works.

Search ranking

Our algorithms help identify reliable sources from the hundreds of billions of pages in our index. However, it’s become very apparent that a small set of queries in our daily traffic (around 0.25 percent), have been returning offensive or clearly misleading content, which is not what people are looking for. To help prevent the spread of such content for this subset of queries, we’ve improved our evaluation methods and made algorithmic updates to surface more authoritative content.

  • New Search Quality Rater guidelines: Developing changes to Search involves a process of experimentation. As part of that process, we have evaluators—real people who assess the quality of Google’s search results—give us feedback on our experiments. These ratings don’t determine individual page rankings, but are used to help us gather data on the quality of our results and identify areas where we need to improve. Last month, we updated our Search Quality Rater Guidelines to provide more detailed examples of low-quality webpages for raters to appropriately flag, which can include misleading information, unexpected offensive results, hoaxes and unsupported conspiracy theories. These guidelines will begin to help our algorithms in demoting such low-quality content and help us to make additional improvements over time.
  • Ranking changes: We combine hundreds of signals to determine which results we show for a given query—from the freshness of the content, to the number of times your search queries appear on the page. We’ve adjusted our signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content, so that issues similar to the Holocaust denial results that we saw back in December are less likely to appear.

Direct feedback tools

When you visit Google, we aim to speed up your experience with features like Autocomplete, which helps predict the searches you might be typing to quickly get to the info you need, and Featured Snippets, which shows a highlight of the information relevant to what you’re looking for at the top of your search results. The content that appears in these features is generated algorithmically and is a reflection of what people are searching for and what’s available on the web. This can sometimes lead to results that are unexpected, inaccurate or offensive. Starting today, we’re making it much easier for people to directly flag content that appears in both Autocomplete predictions and Featured Snippets. These new feedback mechanisms include clearly labeled categories so you can inform us directly if you find sensitive or unhelpful content. We plan to use this feedback to help improve our algorithms.
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New feedback link for Autocomplete
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Updated feedback link for Featured Snippets

Greater transparency about our products

Over the last few months, we’ve been asked tough questions about why shocking or offensive predictions were appearing in Autocomplete. Based on this, we evaluated where we can improve our content policies and updated them appropriately. Now we’re publishing this policy to the Help Center so anyone can learn more about Autocomplete and our approach to removals.  

For those looking to delve a little deeper, we recently updated our How Search Works site to provide more information to users and website owners about the technology behind Search. The site includes a description of how Google ranking systems sort through hundreds of billions of pages to return your results, as well as an overview of our user testing process.  

There are trillions of searches on Google every year. In fact, 15 percent of searches we see every day are new—which means there’s always more work for us to do to present people with the best answers to their queries from a wide variety of legitimate sources. While our search results will never be perfect, we’re as committed as always to preserving your trust and to ensuring our products continue to be useful for everyone.

Source: Search


Happy Earth Day, world!

The Earth is more than 4.543 billion years old, home to more than 8.7 million species—and still the only known planet in the universe known to harbor life. That’s right, we’re pretty special.😉  So on Earth Day, let’s all celebrate our planet and learn about ways to help preserve it.  

Today’s Earth Day Doodle tells the story of a friendly fox whose bad dream about about climate change jolts it into action. The fox goes on a quest to care for the Earth—meeting some familiar faces along the way.

Clicking through to Google Search, you’ll see a list of quick and easy tips to help you do your part in saving the planet. Whether it’s planting a tree, conserving energy or carpooling on your way to work, no act is too small.

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Now by searching for “Earth Day” or a similar query, you’ll see a carousel of posts on Google with info on Earth Day events, museum exhibits from Oakland to Switzerland, and history of how Earth Day came to be from the History Channel.

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Teen girls coding at a Change is Made with Code event in New York City

Sometimes a call to action can help motivate your friends and family to get involved and learn about ways to protect the environment. In this spirit, Google’s Made with Code has launched a new environment coding project that calls on teen girls to code a statement about environmental issues they care about. By learning and using the Blockly coding language, these young coders can code personalized statements in support of the critical work of the World Wildlife Fund, The Ocean Agency and the Jane Goodall Institute.

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Coded statements made on madewithcode.com in support of The Ocean Agency, NGO’s World Wildlife Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute

We’ve always supported advocates who are working to protect our environment, and we’re committed to do our part to run Google in a way that works for the planet. We recently shared that we’ll reach 100 percent renewable energy this year, and we continue to push ourselves to run the most energy efficient data centers in the world. You can learn more about these efforts in our Environmental Report.

In the words of Jane Goodall in the new Google Earth: "Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved."

Source: Search


The High Five: this week in sweet and sparkly searches

You made it through your week, but Earth has made it through billions of years. High five, Earth. Here’s a look at a rainbow of top trending Google searches from the week of April 17.

What a time to be alive

Starbucks has a new (temporary) spirit animal: the unicorn. Described as “sweet and fruity transforming to pleasantly sour,” the Unicorn Frappuccino has whipped up a mix of reactions from sweet tooths, neiiiggghhh (is that the sound a unicorn makes?)-sayers and even Starbucks employees. Coming in cold with 59g of sugar (the equivalent of three Twinkies), the Unicorn Frappucino also has people wondering “What flavor is the unicorn frappuccino?” and “Where can I get the unicorn frappuccino?” The drink caused so much buzz this week that search interest in “unicorn” spiked 3x over coffee searches.
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NBA Playoffs

The NBA Playoffs are here. Some teams might be Cavalier, others are Bulling over their opponents, while a couple teams seem to be Pacing themselves to bring the Thunder later. Who will get Bucked out of the playoffs and who will Rocket toward the finals? Basketball fans are watching the scores like a Hawk, Spurring them to search, “What are the NBA playoff scores?” and “What are the playoff games tonight?”

Earth to Google

This Saturday is Earth Day, and people are looking for ways to contribute and get outside. Search interest in “tree planting” spikes every April, and people also search for for National Parks, like Yellowstone and Yosemite. Others are curious about the history of Earth Day, with questions like “When did the first international earth day occur?” and “Who founded international earth day?”

Kids these days

As if high school wasn’t complicated/awkward/stressful enough, students are now expected to come up with a “promposal”—an elaborate gesture to ask someone to prom. High schoolers are looking for clever ideas with Google searches for “promposal puns” and “cute promposal ideas.” Some are even themed, like “Disney promposal” or “basketball promposal.” It’s a whole new world in high school these days—hope your prom is a slam dunk, kids.

Future tennis star

Serena Williams served some big news this week—she’s pregnant. The announcement, made on Snapchat, left fans wondering “Who is the father of Serena Williams’ baby?” and “How far along is Serena Williams?” The father is her fiancé Alexis Ohanian, and she is 20 weeks along, which means she won the Australian Open while she was pregnant … whoa, baby.

Source: Search