Category Archives: Inside Search Blog

The official Google Search blog

Improving Search to better protect people from harassment

Over the past two decades of building Google Search, we’ve continued to improve and refine our ability to provide the highest quality results for the billions of queries we see every day. Our core principles guide every improvement, as we constantly update Search to work better for you. One area we’d like to shed more light on is how we balance maximizing access to information with the responsibility to protect people from online harassment.


We design our ranking systems to surface high quality results for as many queries as possible, but some types of queries are more susceptible to bad actors and require specialized solutions. One such example is websites that employ exploitative removals practices. These are sites that require payment to remove content, and since 2018 we’ve had a policy that enables people to request removal of pages with information about them from our results. 


Beyond removing these pages from appearing in Google Search, we also used these removals as a demotion signal in Search, so that sites that have these exploitative practices rank lower in results. This solution leads the industry, and is effective in helping people who are victims of harassment from these sites. 


However, we found that there are some extraordinary cases of repeated harassment. The New York Times highlighted one such case, and shed light on some limitations of our approach.


To help people who are dealing with extraordinary cases of repeated harassment, we’re implementing an improvement to our approach to further protect known victims. Now, once someone has requested a removal from one site with predatory practices, we will automatically apply ranking protections to help prevent content from other similar low quality sites appearing in search results for people’s names. We’re also looking to expand these protections further, as part of our ongoing work in this space.


This change was inspired by a similar approach we’ve taken with victims of non-consensual explicit content, commonly known as revenge porn. While no solution is perfect, our evaluations show that these changes meaningfully improve the quality of our results.


Over the years of building Search, our approach has remained consistent: We take examples of queries where we’re not doing the best job in providing high quality results, and look for ways to make improvements to our algorithms. In this way, we don’t “fix” individual queries, since they’re often a symptom of a class of problems that affect many different queries. Our ability to address issues continues to lead the industry, and we’ve deployed advanced technology, tools and quality signals over the last two decades, making Search work better every day.


Search is never a solved problem, and there are always new challenges we face as the web and the world change. We’re committed to listening to feedback and looking for ways to improve the quality of our results.


Source: Search


Catch all the big plays with sports web stories

Aren’t able to catch the game and watch your favorite team live? We've all been there before. But now, when you come to Google looking for the latest updates on your favorite team or game scores from around the league, with Google Web Stories you can also instantly catch up on the big moments and in-game action you might have missed. And with the start of UEFA EURO 2020 just around the corner, football fans in countries across Europe, Africa and Asia can also get in on the action — just search for your team or the name of the tournament. 


Web Stories is an online tappable storybook curated with videos, GIFs and images, bringing you real-time, in-game sports highlights easily accessible from Google Search. Through collaborations with sports leagues and broadcasters from around the world, you can quickly catch up on what you have missed, or re-watch key plays in just a few taps.  You can already find these Web Stories for some of the world’s most popular sports leagues including baseball, basketball, cricket, golf, hockey and now football. With the addition of more leagues and broadcasters in the coming months, soon you’ll have access to even more great sports content.


Screen recording of someone viewing an MLB Web Story through Search

Major League Baseball was one of the earliest adopters of Web Stories, launching in time for the 2019 Postseason and expanding ever since. This season, MLB Game Stories are available globally for every game, in both English and Spanish. Fans in different countries can now catch up on baseball highlights from their devices within one to two minutes of the play happening on the field. The end result: fans are connected to the information they’re looking for through unparalleled access to real-time content and our partners expand their reach -- talk about a home run! 

Screenshot of a MLB Web Story in Spanish

MLB Web Stories are available in Spanish too!

We are excited to be rolling this feature across select countries for UEFA EURO 2020 and can't wait to continue to expand. So whether you want to see every game-defining play that led to your team’s win, or begrudgingly try to understand how your team could have possibly lost to their biggest rivals, Web Stories can connect you to all the action on Search.

Source: Search


New tools to support vaccine access and distribution

While over half of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated, vaccine uptake is slowing across the country. Research shows a variety of factors are preventing people from getting vaccinated — from physical access issues, like transportation challenges and not being able to take time off work, to concerns about safety and side effects. 

To help public health officials and researchers in the U.S. reach people facing these challenges, we’re introducing new tools to better understand the vaccination needs of a community. This builds on our work of providing data, insights and tools to public health, epidemiologists, researchers and policymakers since the early days of the pandemic. 

Equitable access to vaccinations 

For some people getting vaccinated is as simple as walking a few blocks to their local pharmacy. For others, it may be much more difficult and involve a long drive or navigating public transit. If public health officials, researchers and healthcare providers can identify areas where vaccination sites are inaccessible or hard to reach, they may be able to implement measures like pop-up vaccine sites or transportation support like ride vouchers.  

Our COVID-19 Vaccination Access Dataset, which is available to the public today, calculates travel time to vaccination sites to identify areas where it may be difficult to reach a site whether someone is walking, driving or taking public transportation. We prepared this dataset using Google Maps Platform Directions API, the same API that powers navigation in Google Maps. This dataset does not contain any user data.

This dataset will help power a new Vaccine Equity Plannerdashboard from Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and  Boston Children’s Hospital, the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. . This dashboard integrates our dataset with data from other organizations, such as the CDC’s social vulnerability index, to identify “vaccine deserts,” or areas where people have little or no convenient access to a vaccine site, to inform interventions such as pop-up clinics or new sites. 

Vaccine Equity Planner dashboard for New York and Mississippi

Vaccine Equity Planner dashboard for New York and Mississippi.   

Understanding vaccine information needs 

Public health organizations have been the go-to sources for authoritative information throughout the pandemic, and have provided educational campaigns about the safety, efficacy and availability of vaccines. We’ve heard from public health organizations and researchers that they want access to localized and timely data about what information their communities are seeking so they can tailor their communication to people not yet vaccinated. 

In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce a COVID-19 Vaccination Search Insights tool to help public health officials and researchers explore vaccine-related concerns and the information needs of local communities. The tool will show trends representing the relative search interests across three search categories: all vaccine information, intent to get vaccinated (such as eligibility, availability and sites), and safety and side effects. Insights will be provided at the county and zip code level and updated weekly.  

The trends are based on aggregate and anonymized Google Search data so that no user information is included. The process to anonymize the COVID-19 Vaccination Search Insights is powered by differential privacy, a technique that adds noise to the data to provide privacy guarantees while preserving the overall quality of the data. The data can be compared across different regions and over time, without sharing the absolute number of queries in any given area. 

Both tools will initially be available in English and for the U.S. As we get more feedback from public health organizations, researchers, and the community at large, we’ll evaluate expanding these tools internationally.

With these insights, we hope that public health organizations and healthcare providers can more easily and effectively reach their communities. Google will continue to do its part by providing timely and accurate vaccine information and appointment availability to people in Search and supporting organizations focused on vaccine equity. 

Source: Search


How we update Search to improve your results

Our computers, smartphones and apps are regularly updated to help make them better. The same thing happens with Google Search. In fact, Google Search is updated thousands of times a year to improve the experience and the quality of results. Here’s more on how that process works.


Why updates are important

Google Search receives billions of queries every day from countries around the world in 150 languages. Our automated systems identify the most relevant and reliable information from hundreds of billions of pages in our index to help people find what they’re looking for. Delivering great results at this type of scale and complexity requires many different systems, and we’re always looking for ways to improve these systems so we can display the most useful results possible.

Thanks to ongoing improvements, our evaluation processes show we’ve decreased the number of irrelevant results appearing on a search results page by over 40% over the past five years. Google sends billions of visits to websites each day, and by providing highly relevant results, we've been able to continue growing the traffic we send to sites every year since our founding.

We also send visitors to a wide range of sites — more than 100 million every day — so we’re helping sites from across the web and around the world get discovered. As new sites emerge and the web changes, continued updates are key to ensuring we’re supporting a wide range of publishers, creators and businesses, while providing searchers with the best information available.

How updates make Search better

Here are a few examples of what these updates look like:

Last month we launched an improvement we made to help people find better product reviews through Search. We have an automated system that tries to determine if a review  seems to go beyond just sharing basic information about a product and instead demonstrates in-depth research or expertise. This helps people find high quality information from the content producers who are making it.

Another example is an update we made several years ago that tries to determine if content is mobile-friendly. In situations where there are many possible matches with relatively equal relevancy, giving a preference to those that render better on mobile devices is more useful for users searching on those devices.

In any given week, we might implement dozens of updates that are meant to improve Search in incremental ways. These are improvements that have been fully tested and evaluated through our rating process. People using Search generally don’t notice these updates, but Google gets a little better with each one. Collectively, they add up to help Search continue providing great results.

Because there are so many incremental updates, it’s not useful for us to share details about all of them. However, we try to do so when we feel there is actionable information that site owners, content producers or others might consider applying, as was the case with both of the updates mentioned above.

Core updates involve broad improvements to Search

Periodically, we make more substantial improvements to our overall ranking processes. We refer to these as core updates, and they can produce some noticeable changes — though typically these are more often noticed by people actively running websites or performing search engine optimization (SEO) than ordinary users.

This is why we give notice when these kinds of updates are coming. We want site owners to understand these changes aren't because of something they've done but rather because of how our systems have been improved to better assess content overall and better address user expectations. We also want to remind them that nothing in a core update (or any update) is specific to a particular site, but is rather about improving Search overall. As we’ve said previously in our guidance about this:


There's nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update. They haven't violated our webmaster guidelines nor been subjected to manual or algorithmic action, as can happen to pages that do violate those guidelines. In fact, there's nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better.

One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine that in 2015 you made a list of the top 100 movies. A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It's going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before.

The list will change, and films previously higher on the list that move down aren't bad. There are simply more deserving films that are coming before them.

Core updates are designed to increase the overall relevancy of our search results. In terms of traffic we send, it’s largely a net exchange. Some content might do less well, but other content gains. In the long term, improving our systems in this way is how we’ve continued to improve Search and send more traffic to sites across the web every year.


How we help businesses and creators with guidance and tools 

While there’s nothing specific sites need to implement for core updates, we provide guidance and actionable advice that may help them be successful with Search overall. Following this guidance isn't a guarantee a site will rank well for every query it wants to. That’s not something Google or any other search engine could guarantee.

Any particular query can have thousands of pages or other content that's all relevant in some way. It’s impossible to show all this content at the top of our results. And that wouldn’t be useful for searchers, who come to Search precisely because they expect us to show the most helpful information first.

By following our core update guidance, businesses, site owners and content creators can help us better understand when they really have the most relevant and useful content to display. We also recommend sites follow our quality guidelines, implement our optimization tips and make use of the free Search Console tool that anyone can use.

These kinds of updates, along with the tools and advice we offer, are how we make sure we keep connecting searchers to content creators, businesses and others who have the helpful information they’re looking for.

Source: Search


Five ways we’re making Google the safer way to search

The web is home to a lot of great things. But it is also a place where bad actors can try to take advantage of you or access your personal information. That's why we're always working to keep you safe while you search, and also to give you the tools to take control of your Search experience.  


Here are five ways we're making Google the safer way to search: 


1. Fighting spam

The last thing you want to worry about when you’re looking for cake recipes or researching a work project is landing on a malicious website where your identity might get stolen. It’s our job to help protect you from that, and it’s one we take very seriously. 


In 2020, we detected 40 billion pages of spam every day — including sites that have been hacked or deceptively created to steal your personal information — and blocked them from appearing in your results. Beyond traditional webspam, we’ve expanded our effort to protect you against other types of abuse like scams and fraud. Since 2018, we’ve been able to protect hundreds of millions of searches a year from ending up on scammy sites that try to deceive you with keyword stuffing, logos of brands they're imitating or a scam phone number they want you to call. 


We’re also providing web creators with resources to understand potential website vulnerabilities and better protect their sites, as well as tools to see if their sites have been hacked. This work is helping the entire web stay safer, and making it easier for you to land on safe sites with great experiences. To learn more about our work to fight spam on Search, read our 2020 Webspam Report.


2. Encrypting searches 

We also safeguard you from more than spam. We use encryption to prevent hackers and unwanted third parties from seeing what you are looking up or accessing your information. All searches made on google.com or in the Google app are protected by encrypting the connection between your device and Google, keeping your information safer.  


3. Helping you learn more about your
results before you click 

Another way we protect users is by giving you the tools and context to learn more about your Search results. Let’s say you’re searching for something and find a result from a source you aren’t familiar with. By clicking on the three dots next to your result, you can see website descriptions, when Google first indexed the site, and whether or not a site’s connection is secure. This added context enables you to make a more informed decision about the source before clicking the blue link.


4. Browsing safely 

Sometimes in the excitement of trying to learn more about a topic, you end up clicking on a link to a dangerous site without even realizing it. But with Google Safe Browsing, we’ve got you covered. This feature currently protects over four billion devices and when enabled in Chrome, displays warning messages letting you know that the site you are trying to enter might be unsafe, protecting you and your personal information from potential malware and phishing scams. 


5. Protecting you from bad ads

Providing you access to high-quality and reliable information on Search also extends to the ads you see while searching for products, services and content. To ensure those ads aren’t scams or being misused, we are constantly developing and enforcing policies that put users first. In 2020, we blocked or removed approximately 3.1 billion ads for violating our policies and restricted an additional 6.4 billion ads, across all of our platforms including Search. 


All of these tools were created with you in mind, so you can click on that carrot cake recipe knowing that we are working hard to help keep you safe online.


Source: Search


Five ways we’re making Google the safer way to search

The web is home to a lot of great things. But it is also a place where bad actors can try to take advantage of you or access your personal information. That's why we're always working to keep you safe while you search, and also to give you the tools to take control of your Search experience.  


Here are five ways we're making Google the safer way to search: 


1. Fighting spam

The last thing you want to worry about when you’re looking for cake recipes or researching a work project is landing on a malicious website where your identity might get stolen. It’s our job to help protect you from that, and it’s one we take very seriously. 


In 2020, we detected 40 billion pages of spam every day — including sites that have been hacked or deceptively created to steal your personal information — and blocked them from appearing in your results. Beyond traditional webspam, we’ve expanded our effort to protect you against other types of abuse like scams and fraud. Since 2018, we’ve been able to protect hundreds of millions of searches a year from ending up on scammy sites that try to deceive you with keyword stuffing, logos of brands they're imitating or a scam phone number they want you to call. 


We’re also providing web creators with resources to understand potential website vulnerabilities and better protect their sites, as well as tools to see if their sites have been hacked. This work is helping the entire web stay safer, and making it easier for you to land on safe sites with great experiences. To learn more about our work to fight spam on Search, read our 2020 Webspam Report.


2. Encrypting searches 

We also safeguard you from more than spam. We use encryption to prevent hackers and unwanted third parties from seeing what you are looking up or accessing your information. All searches made on google.com or in the Google app are protected by encrypting the connection between your device and Google, keeping your information safer.  


3. Helping you learn more about your
results before you click 

Another way we protect users is by giving you the tools and context to learn more about your Search results. Let’s say you’re searching for something and find a result from a source you aren’t familiar with. By clicking on the three dots next to your result, you can see website descriptions, when Google first indexed the site, and whether or not a site’s connection is secure. This added context enables you to make a more informed decision about the source before clicking the blue link.


4. Browsing safely 

Sometimes in the excitement of trying to learn more about a topic, you end up clicking on a link to a dangerous site without even realizing it. But with Google Safe Browsing, we’ve got you covered. This feature currently protects over four billion devices and when enabled in Chrome, displays warning messages letting you know that the site you are trying to enter might be unsafe, protecting you and your personal information from potential malware and phishing scams. 


5. Protecting you from bad ads

Providing you access to high-quality and reliable information on Search also extends to the ads you see while searching for products, services and content. To ensure those ads aren’t scams or being misused, we are constantly developing and enforcing policies that put users first. In 2020, we blocked or removed approximately 3.1 billion ads for violating our policies and restricted an additional 6.4 billion ads, across all of our platforms including Search. 


All of these tools were created with you in mind, so you can click on that carrot cake recipe knowing that we are working hard to help keep you safe online.


Source: Search


Bring iconic Japanese characters to life with AR in Search

We all need a bit of escapism sometimes, and there’s nothing like a blast from the pop-culture past to do the trick. Today, we’re bringing characters from classic Japanese anime, games and TV shows to life — from Pac-Man to Hello Kitty — with augmented reality (AR) in Search. 


Japan’s anime and video game culture emerged between the 1950s and the 1980s, as comic books, gaming arcades and home TVs and consoles boomed. But it wasn’t just a Japanese phenomenon. The most iconic characters caught people’s imaginations around the world, and they’re still hugely popular today. 


Which animated icon is most searched on Google? Pac-Man leads the pack by a long way: worldwide search interest in the hungry dot-gobbler is more than double the next most-searched character, Hello Kitty. What might surprise you is that the top country for search interest in Pac-Man over the past five years was...Peru. Hello Kitty is most searched in the Philippines. 


When it comes to the broader trends, anime wins out. It’s more popular than video games worldwide, with interest for anime climbing to its highest peak on record in the past month. That’s pretty amazing — and in fact, search interest for “anime sugoi” (or “anime is amazing”) has spiked 2,300% in the past five years globally.
An animated world map showing search interest in anime characters over the past five years

Now, you can have these characters do their cute thing right in front of your eyes. Take a break to watch ghosts chasing after Pac-Man or Gundam swoop in your living room! Characters that are viewable in AR include Evangelion, Hello Kitty, Gomora, Gundam, Pac-Man and Ultraman. (For die-hard otaku who can read Japanese, check out our Japanese blog with the full list.)

An animation showing how the Japanese anime characters will look in augmented reality on Google Search

How to access and share:

Search for one of the characters on Google using a mobile device and tap “View in 3D” to rotate or zoom in and see it up close. You can then bring the characters from outer space into your space with AR and turn up your volume to hear Hello Kitty deliver a cute message, or Pac-man's retro sound effects.

  • Android: Search for “Hello Kitty” or one of the 14 characters on the Google app or any Android browser and tap “View in 3D.” You can see 3D content on devices with Android 7 Plus and you can see AR content on ARCore-enabled devices.
  • iOS:  Search for “Hello Kitty” or one of the 14 characters on the Google app. 3D and AR content is available on iOS 11.0+ devices.
You can also create AR videos — or recreate your favorite scenes — with the recording option. Don’t forget to tag your photos and videos on social with #Google3D.

Source: Search


Get ready for Hollywood’s big night with Google

Sure, spring is nice, and there’s so much to celebrate in the winter but my favorite season is easily awards season! 2021 marks 93 years of Hollywood’s annual film celebration, and this year’s Academy Awards will be a combination of in-person and virtual.


Ahead of the big night every year, my friends and I try to watch all of the new nominees, along with some of our favorite past winners. With the help of Google Search, we’re able to keep track of everything we want to watch, as well as check titles off once the credits roll. Starting today, you’ll find a brand new carousel of 2021 nominated movies when searching for “what to watch.” And on Google TV, we’re featuring collections that highlight nominees and 20 years of award-winning women.

Oscars on What to Watch

During my movie list-making, I decided to take a look at Google Trends to see what  “Best Picture” winners have piqued our interest. And the award for most-searched goes to: 1997’s romantic drama about a maiden voyage across the Atlantic...with two hits from the 70s as the runners-up.

Google Trends Oscars

Best Picture winners from 1927 - 2020 ranked by global Google Search interest from 2004 to March 2021

Check out this visualization of how classic flicks have been searched over the years. 

Oscars Google Trends GIF

And here’s how fans across the U.S. have been searching for this year’s best picture nominees. 

Google Trends Oscars 2021

But Hollywood’s big night isn’t only about the movies — it’s also about the celebrities. Here’s what Google Trends revealed about our searches for award show stars. (Spoiler Alert: Leonardo DiCaprio is the most searched “Oscar snub” since 2004 in the U.S.)

Most-searched “How many Oscars does … have” since 2004 US

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio

  2. Meryl Streep

  3. Tom Hanks

  4. Denzel Washington

  5. Brad Pitt


Most-searched Oscar duos since 2004 U.S.

  1. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

  2. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez

  3. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet

  4. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner

  5. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt


Most-searched Red Carpet celebrities since 2004 U.S.

  1. Jennifer Lawrence

  2. Lady Gaga

  3. Angelina Jolie

  4. Jennifer Lopez

  5. Billy Porter

Search “Oscars” to stay up to date on this year’s nominees throughout the show. The list of winners in each category will be updated in real time and you’ll also find live clips, top stories, and other trending content. Starting Sunday April 25 at 5 p.m. PT, you’ll also be able to find ABC’s live stream in Search. 


To hear some predictions ahead of the red carpet, ask Google Assistant, “Hey Google, what are your Oscar predictions?” or “Hey Google, who do you think is best dressed at the Oscars?” Assistant also has the full list of nominees, of course, and plenty more to talk about. You can even join in on the fun at award night by asking, “Hey Google, give me an award.” 


Grab the popcorn...it’s almost showtime!

Source: Search


When (and why) we remove content from Google search results

Access to information is at the core of Google’s mission, and every day we work to make information from the web available to everyone. We design our systems to return the most relevant and reliable information possible, but our search results include pages from the open web. Depending on what you search for, the results can include content that people might find objectionable or offensive.

While we’re committed to providing open access to information, we also have a strong commitment and responsibility to comply with the law and protect our users. When content is against local law, we remove it from being accessible in Google Search. 

Overall, our approach to information quality and webpage removals aims to strike a balance between ensuring that people have access to the information they need, while also doing our best to protect against harmful information online. Here’s an overview of how we do that.

Complying with the law

We hold ourselves to a high standard when it comes to our legal requirements to remove pages from Google search results. For many issues, such as privacy or defamation, our legal obligations may vary country by country, as different jurisdictions have come to different conclusions about how to deal with these complex topics.


We encourage people and authorities to alert us to content they believe violates the law. In fact, in most cases, this is necessary, because determining whether content is illegal is not always a determination that Google is equipped to make, especially without notice from those who are affected. 

For example, in the case of copyrighted material, we can’t automatically confirm whether a given page hosting that particular content has a license to do so, so we need rightsholders to tell us. By contrast, the mere presence of child sex abuse material (CSAM) on a page is illegal in most jurisdictions, so we develop ways to automatically identify that content and prevent it from showing in our results.

In the case of all legal removals, we share information about government requests for removal in our Transparency Report. Where possible, we inform website owners about requests for removal via Search Console.

Voluntary removal policies

Beyond removing content as required by law, we also have a set of policies that go beyond what’s legally required, mostly focused on highly personal content appearing on the open web. Examples of this content include financial or medical information, government-issued IDs, and intimate imagery published without consent.


These types of content are information that people generally intend to keep private and can cause serious harm, like identity theft, so we give people the ability to request removal from our search results.


We also look for new ways to carefully expand these policies to allow further protections for people online. For example, we allow people to request the removal of pages about themselves on sites with exploitative removals policies, as well as pages that include contact information alongside personal threats, a form of “doxxing.” In these cases, while people may want to access these sites to find potentially useful information or understand their policies and practices, the pages themselves provide little value or public interest, and might lead to reputational or even physical harm that we aim to help protect against.

Solving issues at scale

It might seem intuitive to solve content problems by removing more content — either page by page, or by limiting access to entire sites. However, in addition to being in tension with our mission, this approach also doesn’t effectively scale to the size of the open web, with trillions of pages and more being added each minute. Building scalable, automated approaches allows us to not only solve these challenges more effectively, but also avoid unnecessarily limiting access to legal content online.


Our most effective protection is to design systems that rank high-quality, reliable information at the top of our results. And while we do remove pages in compliance with our policies and legal obligations, we also use insights from those removals to improve our systems overall.


For example, when we receive a high volume of valid copyright removal requests from a given site, we are able to use that as a quality signal and demote the site in our results. We’ve developed similar approaches for sites whose pages we’ve removed under our voluntary policies. This allows us to not only help the people requesting the removals, but also scalably fight against the issue in other cases.

An evolving web

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that even when we remove content from Google Search, it may still exist on the web, and only a website owner can remove content entirely. But we do fight against the harmful effects of sensitive personal information appearing in our results, and have strict practices to ensure we’re complying with the law. We’re always evolving our approach to protect against bad actors on the web and ensure Google continues to deliver high-quality, reliable information for everyone. 


Beyond how we handle removals of we pages, if you’d like to learn more about how we approach our policies for search features, visit this post. And if you’re still looking for more details about Search, check out more past articles in our How Search Works series.

Source: Search


Take a look at these pandemic pastimes

I've never spent as much time at home as I have in the last year. Of course, I'm not the only one. Over the past year or so of quarantine, I've found myself searching for new things to do. I searched for “cheesemaking” when my kids asked me to play sous chef, and for “bird watching” and “how to create container gardens” when we started spending more time outside.  Like so many people, I looked up recipes for baking bread. My quarantine search history feels like a bingo card for hobbies. 


This made me wonder what other people were searching for during the pandemic — and  how have these interests changed over time? 


To get an idea, we worked with design studio Polygraph (creators of The Pudding) to create a new interactive tool that allows us to dig deeper into what captivated our year of social distancing. With this new calendar view, you can see what hobbies and interests were trending on any specific day a year ago in the U.S. Each day reflects the topic that saw the greatest growth in search queries compared to one year prior. You can also learn more about a specific topic by visiting the Google Trends website.
Google Trends

Hobbies in 2020 were compared to the search volume in 2019 to calculate percent growth. The hobby with the largest growth was featured on the respective day. Play with the tool here.

Explore more by searching for specific hobbies in the calendar or click to select different dates and view what hobby was keeping us busy at that time last year. (It’s nice to know I wasn’t the only one searching for “needlepoint” on April 8 last year.) You can even select a specific hobby and connect with helpful information on the Search results page.

View on Search

Google Trends provides a unique perspective of what we’re currently interested in and curious about. If I learned anything from using this new tool, it’s that we all have more in common than we might think.

Source: Search