Tag Archives: Search

Learn more about anxiety with a self-assessment on Search

Editor’s note: This post is authored by Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO of The National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Anxiety disorders affect 48 million adults in the U.S. Anxiety presents itself as a wide range of symptoms, and can be a result of biological factors or triggered by a change in environment or exposure to a stressful event. With COVID-19 introducing new points of stress, communities are seeing a rise in mental health issues and needs. New Census Bureau data released last week shows that a third of Americans are now showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization and we’re partnering with Google to provide access to mental health resources. Starting today when people in the U.S. search on Google for information about anxiety, we’ll provide access to a clinically-validated questionnaire called the GAD-7 (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7). The GAD-7 will show up in the knowledge panel—the box of information that displays key facts when you search for something—and also has medically-validated information about anxiety, including symptoms and common treatments.

Anxiety self-assessment

This seven-question survey covers many of the same questions a health professional may ask, and your answers are private and secure (Google does not collect or share answers or results from the questionnaire). The GAD-7 helps people understand how their self-reported anxiety symptoms map to anxiety levels of people who completed the same questionnaire. The tool also provides access to resources developed by NAMI so people can learn more and seek help when needed. 

Anxiety self-assessment results

The GAD-7 is the third mental health screener available on Google Search. We’ve previously partnered with Google so that people who search for information on depression and PTSD can access relevant clinically-validated questionnaires that provide more information and links to resources about those conditions. The self-assessments are currently available in the U.S., and Google hopes to make them available in additional countries over time.

Anxiety can show up as a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, and it can take decades for people who first experience symptoms to get treatment. By providing access to authoritative information, and the resources and tools to learn more about anxiety, we hope to empower more people to take action and seek help.

Source: Search

Google’s new tools help businesses during COVID-19

Running a business requires a whole lot of ingenuity and perseverance. It’s those same qualities that are helping local businesses adapt, and even thrive, in today’s new normal. To adjust, business owners are increasingly turning to digital tools. According to a newly released report by the Connected Commerce Council, nearly one in three small business owners said that without digital tools they would have had to close all or parts of their business.

We’ve rolled out new features to help businesses get the support they need, adapt their operations, and quickly update customers about their latest changes.

Let people know how they can help 

We’ve seen firsthand in Google Search and Maps the impact that COVID-19 has had on small businesses and how they connect with their customers. People across the world are looking for ways to continue supporting corner bookstores, local watering holes, beloved dance studios and other businesses that give their neighborhoods character—even if it’s from a distance. 

To help local businesses share how their communities can support them during COVID-19, we recently began allowing merchants in six countries to add support links for donations and gift cards to their Business Profiles on Google. Starting today, we’re rolling support links out to merchants in an additional 18 countries such as Italy, Spain and Japan. We’ve partnered with PayPal and GoFundMe for donations. For gift cards, merchants can link directly to the relevant page on their website or to their gift card offerings with one of our eligible partners, which includes Square, Toast, Clover and Vagaro.

People around the world are looking to help—with global search interest in "how to help small businesses" reaching an all-time high in March 2020, increasing more than 700 percent since February. To help connect them with nearby businesses in need, we’ve made it possible for people to look up their favorite local businesses by name to see if they’ve added donation or gift card links to their Business Profile. And in the coming weeks, people will also be able to use Search and Maps to find all of the nearby businesses that are asking for support. 

Support Links Search

People can now look up their favorite local businesses to see if they have donation or gift card links on their Business Profile

Transition to online services with ease 

Merchants who normally provided in-person services are now pivoting to connect with their customers virtually—from yoga studios offering online classes to salons hosting virtual hair styling classes. We’re making it easier for customers to discover online classes and book virtual appointments with these new features:

  • Get discovered:Merchants who are verified on Google My Business will soon be able to add attributes like “online classes,” “online appointments,” or “online estimates” to their Business Profiles to let people know how they’re operating. Today merchants can add one of these attributes using Google My Business, and in the coming weeks it’ll be visible on merchants’ Business Profiles in Search and Maps. 

  • Online service bookings directly on Google:We’re expanding Reserve with Google to help merchants offer easy appointment bookings for online services so customers can quickly find available times, book a slot, and add it to their Google Calendar—all directly from a merchant’s Business Profile. Millions of people have already booked in-person appointments with salons, restaurants and other businesses thanks to integrations from over 100 Reserve with Google partners. We’re now expanding this to include bookings for online services, starting with partners like Booksy, Regis, WellnessLiving, and Zooty. Merchants working with one of these partners can offer online bookings directly on Google and share details with customers about how to pay and join the meeting using their preferred video platform.

Online Class Booking

 Merchants can offer easy appointment bookings for online services. 

Keep everyone in the know with the latest business information

Sometimes it’s not as simple as “open” and “closed.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve added new tools to help merchants keep customers informed about how and when they’re operating. 

Across all business verticals, we launched the ability to mark their business as temporarily closed, as well as reopen when they’re ready to open their doors. We also added secondary hours and COVID-19 posts so merchants can communicate important information about their operations directly in Google Search and Maps. Since March, we’ve seen more than 1 million businesses share COVID-19 posts, with millions of clicks to merchants’ websites every week as consumers look for more information.

With many people unable to enjoy meals inside their favorite restaurants, demand for food delivery and takeout has skyrocketed. In response, we’ve added more third-party ordering providers, so people everywhere can order delivery and takeout from an additional 25,000 restaurants directly on Google. To give merchants even more control, we’ll soon be making it easier for food merchants to indicate their preferred online ordering partners on their Business Profiles. 

Today people are deciding where to grab food not only based on the menu, but also on how easy it is to pick up safely. We added attributes like “curbside pickup,” “no contact delivery,” and “dine-in” so that restaurants could easily share these important details on their Business Profiles in Search and Maps. Since March, more than 3 million restaurants have added or edited their dining attributes. Some restaurateurs are even ditching dining areas for good. To support all types of food merchants, virtual kitchens can now verify their businesses on Google My Business. 

We know that every day during this pandemic can be drastically different—and for small business owners, there can be a lot of uncertainty. While we can’t control what each day looks like, our goal is to continue helping businesses communicate the latest with consumers across the world. 

Source: Search

A reintroduction to our Knowledge Graph and knowledge panels

Sometimes Google Search will show special boxes with information about people, places and things. We call these knowledge panels. They’re designed to help you quickly understand more about a particular subject by surfacing key facts and to make it easier to explore a topic in more depth. Information within knowledge panels comes from our Knowledge Graph, which is like a giant virtual encyclopedia of facts. In this post, we’ll share more about how knowledge panels are automatically generated, how data for the Knowledge Graph is gathered and how we monitor and react to reports of incorrect information.

What’s a knowledge panel?

Knowledge panels are easily recognized by those who do desktop searching, appearing to the right of search results:
Knowledge Panel

Our systems aim to show the most relevant and popular information for a topic within a knowledge panel. Because no topic is the same, exactly what is shown in a knowledge panel will vary. But typically, they’ll include:

  • Title and short summary of the topic
  • A longer description of the subject
  • A picture or pictures of the person, place or thing
  • Key facts, such as when a notable figure was born or where something is located
  • Links to social profiles and official websites

Knowledge panels might also include special information related to particular topics. For example:

  • Songs from musical artists
  • Upcoming episodes from TV shows
  • Rosters of sports teams.

Sources of information for the Knowledge Graph

The information about an “entity”—a person, place or thing—in our knowledge panels comes from our Knowledge Graph, which was launched in 2012. It’s a system that understands facts and information about entities from materials shared across the web, as well as from open source and licensed databases. It has amassed over 500 billion facts about five billion entities.

Wikipedia is a commonly-cited source, but it’s not the only one. We draw from hundreds of sources from across the web, including licensing data that appears in knowledge panels for music, sports and TV. We work with medical providers to create carefully vetted content for knowledge panels for health issues. We also draw from special coding that content owners can use, such as to indicate upcoming events.

On mobile, multiple knowledge panels provide facts

When we first launched knowledge panels, most search activity happened on desktop, where there was room to easily show knowledge panels alongside search results. Today, most search activity happens on mobile, where screen size doesn’t allow for a side-by-side display.

To this end, information from the Knowledge Graph is often not presented through a single knowledge panel on mobile. Instead, one or more knowledge panels may appear interspersed among the overall results.

Mobile Knowledge Panel

How we work to improve the Knowledge Graph

Inaccuracies in the Knowledge Graph can occasionally happen. Just as we have automatic systems that gather facts for the Knowledge Graph, we also have automatic systems designed to prevent inaccuracies from appearing. However, as with anything, the systems aren’t perfect. That’s why we also accept reports from anyone about issues.

Selecting the “Feedback” link at the bottom of a knowledge panel or the three dots at the top of one on mobile brings up options to provide feedback to us:

Knowledge Panel feedback

We analyze feedback like this to understand how any actual inaccuracies got past our systems, so that we can make improvements generally across the Knowledge Graph overall. We also remove inaccurate facts that come to our attention for violating our policies, especially prioritizing issues relating to public interest topics such as civic, medical, scientific, and historical issues or where there’s a risk of serious and immediate harm.

How entities can claim and suggest changes to a knowledge panel

Many knowledge panels can be “claimed” by the subject they are about, such as a person or a company. The claiming process—what we call getting verified—allows subjects to provide feedback directly to us about potential changes or to suggest things like a preferred photo. For local businesses, there’s a separate process of claiming that operates through Google My Business. This enables local businesses to manage special elements in their knowledge panels, such as opening hours and contact phone numbers.

For more information about topics like this, check out our How Search Works blog series and website.

Add support links to your Business Profile on Google

Local businesses are core to our communities, but the impact of COVID-19 has been tough on business owners. Over the past few months, we’ve added tools and features to make it easier for businesses to keep customers informed, including the ability to add dining options and updated hours to Business Profiles. 

Today, we’re rolling out support links for businesses to post directly to their Business Profiles on Google, starting first in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. With this feature, merchants will be able to add a donation link, gift card link or both to their profile. They can also share a personal message in their post to inform customers how funds will be put to use. These support links will be visible to consumers later this month.  

At launch, we’ve partnered with PayPal and GoFundMe for donations. For gift cards, merchants can link directly to the relevant page on their website or to their gift card offerings with one of our eligible partners, which includes Square, Toast, Clover and Vagaro. While Google is not charging merchants or consumers any fees, there may be partner processing fees associated with campaigns.

We know that businesses around the world are looking for financial support during this time. Our initial launch will begin with a subset of businesses to protect against misuse, with plans to expand to more countries, merchants, and partners in a safe and responsible way over the coming weeks. For more information visit our help center.

A Doodle for (super)Moms near or far

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my mom. She raised me and my two siblings as a single, immigrant mother in a small Texas town. Her goal was always to give us a better life and unparalleled opportunities to what she had growing up in Mexico—and she regularly worked more than three jobs at a time to do it. The truth is, I have no idea how she pulled it all off. I also don’t know that I’ll ever be able to convey the extent of gratitude I feel for who she is (a supermom!) and what she did for us. Her strength and capacity for love is what I aspire to every single day.

I’ve always loved that we have a day dedicated to showing the superheroines in each of our lives how much we love and appreciate them—though one day is certainly not enough! While I’ve been lucky enough throughout the years to spend this day with my mom, this year I’ll be sending my love from afar. 

People around the world are looking for ways to celebrate with their moms, too. Search interest in “Homemade Mother's Day card” has increased by 160 percent in the past week globally. In fact, the most searched Mother’s Day and "virtual" searches worldwide are “virtual Mothers Day ideas,” “virtual Mothers Day gifts” and “virtual Mothers Day cards.”

Giving families an opportunity to connect during these unprecedented times is what inspired us to build today’s new, interactive Mother’s Day Doodle. When you visit the Google homepage, you can create your own custom, digital art from the heart and send it to any and all the moms in your life.

Doodle Interactive Experience

And while they’ve always had to wear many hats, moms, dads and parents everywhere over the last few months have had to become so much more. To all the parents out there, thank you for everything.

While nothing beats one of my mom’s cure-all hugs, I’m grateful that technology will give me the chance to see her smile and hear her laugh when she opens up my attempt at channeling my inner Picasso. It still won’t be enough to thank her for everything she’s done for me, but it’ll surely make all the miles between us feel a little bit smaller. 

La quiero mucho, Ama. I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day 💖

Perla and mom

Source: Search

Make at-home learning more fun with 3D and AR in Search

Augmented reality (AR) in Search lets you bring 3D objects and animals into your space so you can turn your living room into a virtual zoo, explore the Apollo 11spacecraft up close, or take a picture with Santa. I love seeing how much fun families are having with this experience at home. AR in Search can also help you discover and explore new concepts. Here are a few new ways you can use AR (and a little imagination) to learn at home.

Take a virtual trip through the human body

It’s one thing to read about the human heart, and another to see one up close to understand how it pumps blood to provide oxygen. We’re partnering with BioDigital so that you can explore 11 human body systems with AR in Search on mobile. Search for circulatory system and tap “View in 3D” to see a heart up close or look up skeletal system to trace the bones in the human body and see how they connect. Read labels on each body part to learn more about it or view life-size images in AR to better understand its scale.

Get a magnified view of our microscopic world

Seeing is often understanding. But tiny organisms, like cells, are hard to visualize unless you can magnify them to understand what’s inside. We’ve partnered with Visible Bodyto create AR models of animal, plant and bacteria cells, including some of their key organelles. Search for animal cell and zoom into its nucleus to see how it stores DNA or search for mitochondria to learn what’s inside it. With AR, you can bring a 3D cell into your space to rotate it, zoom in and view details about its different components.

Turn your home into a museum

Many museums may be closed right now, but with Google Arts & Culture and institutions like the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, you can turn your home into one using AR. Search for Apollo 11 on your phone to see its command module in 3D, look up Neil Armstrong to get a life-size view of his spacesuit, or step inside the Chauvet Cave to get an up-close look at some of the world's oldest known cave paintings, which are usually closed off to the public.
E703_ARSearch_Armstrong_Blog_v03_nl (1).gif

Easily explore, record and share 

To help you quickly explore related content, we’re rolling out a new carousel format on Android, as well as a recording option to share social-worthy AR videos with friends and family.

E703_ARSearch_Carousel_Blog_v01_nl (1).gif

Explore content with the carousel format on Android

We hope that you enjoy exploring all of these 3D and AR experiences on Google. Tag us on social with #Google3Dand let us know how you’re using AR to learn and explore new things in your home. We can’t wait to hear where your imagination takes you next!

What’s trending: understanding rising consumer interests

Since COVID-19 began, we’ve heard from our retail and brand manufacturing partners that they’re hungry for more insights on how consumer interests are changing, given fluctuations in consumer demand. We see these changes reflected in how people are searching on Google. Last month, there were spikes in search interest for household supplies and jigsaw puzzles as people spent more time at home. This month we’ve seen surging interest for sewing machines and baking materials in the U.S., and tetherball sets and chalk in the United Kingdom and Australia. 

Businesses are using a variety of resources to understand changing consumer interests—including Google Trends, social listening, surveys, and their own data—in order to help make decisions on the fly. But if they don’t know what to look for, there isn’t an easy way to understand which product categories are gaining in popularity, and might pose an opportunity.

That’s why we’re launching a rising retail categories tool on Think with Google. It surfaces fast-growing, product-related categories in Google Search, the locations where they’re growing, and the queries associated with them. This is the first time we’ve provided this type of insight on the product categories that people are searching for. 

Rising Retail Categories

When we previewed the data with a group of businesses, they had lots of creative ideas for how they might apply it—whether for content creation, promotional efforts, or even new products and services. Here were some of their ideas for how it could help:

  • Content creation: A cookware company noticed that “flour” was a growing category in the United States. The team was inspired to explore partnering with a famous local chef to create engaging content about recipes that incorporate flour. 
  • Promotion: A jewelry and accessories company noted rising interest in products in the “free weights” category, so the team thought they might partner with fitness influencers who could help promote their products. Similarly, an online business said it would regularly reference the data to inform which products to feature on its homepage throughout the pandemic. 

  • Product ideas: An apparel company with a fast and flexible production model said its team would use this data to inspire new product line ideas.

For the next few months, we’ll update the tool with fresh data every day and hope this will help businesses of all sizes find new pockets of consumer interest. For additional resources and insights, sign up for the Think with Google newsletter. 

Source: Search

A new way for podcasters to understand and grow their audiences

Whether taking a quick walk, diving into an ambitious cooking project or driving in the car, people are listening to podcasts in more places. We redesigned Google Podcasts with this in mind, making it easier to discover and listen to podcasts wherever people are listening. 

Today we’re introducing Google Podcasts Manager, a new tool to help podcasters gain insight into the evolving habits of podcast listeners so they can better understand their audiences and reach them across Google products.

With Podcasts Manager, you can make sure your show is available to millions of Google Podcasts listeners through a simple verification process. Within the tool you can access metrics to understand how engagement with your show evolves over time and see activity for recent episodes. This includes retention analytics which help you better understand where people tune in—and when they drop off—along with listening duration, minutes played and more. And you can export the data and plug it into your own analysis tools if you prefer.
Copy of 925x512_podcasts_episodes_a.png

Audience retention dashboard

Podcasts Manager also provides anonymized device analytics that show what percentage of your audience listens on phones, tablets, desktop computers and smart speakers. This data can help podcasters better understand and respond to changing listening behavior. For example, you might discover that the majority of your listeners access your show on a smart speaker. This might mean you add shorter form content for listening on-the-go, or develop more family-friendly options for consumption in an open space.

Copy of 925x512_podcasts_device_brekdown_a (1).png

Device breakdown dashboard

We’ll continue to build on these features to help audio publishers grow sustainable businesses, connect with listeners and create podcasts people love.

Getting to great matches in Google Search

We’ve probably all gone through this before: you do a search for something, and the results just don’t seem to be related to what you were looking for.

It’s definitely not what we want to see happen, and we try to prevent it in a number of ways. For example, if you spell something wrong, we have systems to detect those misspellings and provide proper spelling predictions, so you can find web pages and information that match the words you were really searching for. We also continue to make improvements to our underlying language understanding systems in Search, so even if you don’t phrase something exactly as it’s written online, we can still understand the words and concepts in a way that makes sure you can find a good match.

But these systems don’t always work perfectly, and sometimes, there just isn’t information available on the web that matches what you typed in.

Search - Getting Great Matches

Starting today in the U.S., we’re rolling out a new message that lets you know when Google hasn’t been able to find anything that matches your search particularly well. While you can still go through the results to see for yourself if they’re helpful, the message is a signal that we probably haven’t found what you’re looking for. When possible, the feature will also provide some alternative searches as well as tips on how you could reformulate your query to better find the information you seek.

This feature shouldn’t show up too often-- after all, there’s usually something helpful we can find! But when it does, we hope it helps save you some time and gets you to the information you wanted more quickly. If it turns out that what you were hoping to find just isn’t on the web at all, you can always check back later to see if anyone has created a new article or posted new information that you’ll find helpful. And in the meantime, there’s always more to explore.

Stay entertained and informed from home

While spending more time at home, you might find yourself re-watching your favorite classics, doing game nights with the family and catching up on the TV shows you've been missing. From staying informed on the latest news to tuning in to weekly podcasts or finding what to watch, here are a few ideas to keep your whole family entertained while at home:

A faster way to news and entertainment

Many of us are turning to our TVs to stay up to date and entertained while we stay in. To access fresh news and fun entertainment quickly, you’ll now find three new rows from YouTube right on your Android TV home screen:

  • COVID-19 Newsgives you the latest from authoritative publishers and local health authorities to help you stay informed.
  • Stay Home #WithMe features videos that invite you to cook, listen to live music and work out, so you can stay connected, even if you’re home alone.
  • Free movies from YouTube highlights movies you can watch for free with ads, so that you can find something new.

Stay informed and entertained with three new rows from YouTube on the Android TV home screen.

Create your own Watchlist in Search

When you’re deciding on a TV show or movie to watch, there are a lot of options out there. And figuring out what content is available across all your subscriptions can be time consuming and overwhelming. You can already find TV and movie recommendations in Search and today we’re adding a new Watchlist tab on mobile, so that you can keep track of what to watch next.

Browse through personalized recommendations by searching “what to watch.” Then, simply tap “Watchlist” in the preview window for any show or movie to add it to your list. You can navigate between your recommendations and the “Watchlist” tab so you won’t lose track of what’s already been saved. You can also add content to your Watchlist whenever you search for a show or movie. To quickly access your full watchlist, search for “my watchlist” or tap on Collections in the Google app.


Keep track of what to watch next with the new Watchlist in Search.

Entertainment deals you won’t want to miss

Google Play also has a collection of special deals including offers on apps for movies, TV and comics and fun ways to learn something new. If you’re looking to game with friends, you can #PlayApartTogether and explore these multiplayer games. For a throwback option, we’ve compiled a few retro arcade games to bring back childhood memories. In the U.S., we’ve also extended the free trial for Google Play Pass to 30 days to give you and your family more time to enjoy games and apps without ads or in-app purchases.
Group 3.png

Browse games to #PlayApartTogether with family and friends.

If you’re looking for apps on your big screen, Google Play is adding more collections to Android TV. Your favorite streaming apps are now organized in one row under “Stream the shows and movies you love.” You can also pick up a new hobby or skill with TV apps under “Learn new things.” If gaming on the TV is more your style, you can now find games to “Play with your remote” and “Play with your gamepad.”

Play-Games-Collections (1).png

Find games and apps in Google Play’s collections on Android TV.

We’re offering gamers in 14 countries free access to Stadia Pro for two months, which includes instant access to nine games, including GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection and Thumper. If you’re already a paid Stadia Pro subscriber, you won’t be charged for the next two months.

Get a little help using just your voice

And whether you want to catch up on your favorite podcast or you want to spend some quality time with family or roommates, Google Assistant and Nest have got you covered. 

  • Game night:If you’re looking for trivia or quiz games to play, just say, “Hey Google, let’s play a game.” Or if you already know what you want to play, say, “Hey Google, play Are You Feeling Lucky.”

  • Kick back with a podcast:Search interest in “podcasts” hit an all-time high, worldwide. Ask Google Assistant for a particular podcast by saying, “Hey Google, play [podcast name]” or it will pick one for you if you say “Hey Google, find me a podcast about cooking.” If you have a Nest Mini, Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max, the Ambient IQ feature will adjust the volume for you.

  • View your home movies easily:Watch videos and slideshows you’ve made in Google Photos using Chromecast. From the Google Photos app you can send videos and pictures to your TV by tapping the cast icon. With a Google Nest speaker you can simply ask, “Hey Google, show my 2018 summer vacation video on my TV.”


Ask Google Assistant to cast your family photos and videos to your TV.

These updates and features are already available or coming this week. Check them out to keep the whole family entertained at home.