Google Search Wants To Answer Your Questions Even Before You Ask Them

Doris Richards
September 25, 2018

Google will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its search engine launching on Thursday. If you want to dive deeper into that topic, just tap on it and you'll be taken to a new list of articles and videos specific to that one subject.

Activity cards: When you revisit a search query from the past, Google will display all your previous steps in a handy card. Google is able to parse the content of videos to present purely relevant snippets in a useful way in search, connecting content to categories and topics.

The feature was described as "Google search helping you discover new things without a query". Don't worry if that sounds like a bit too much: Google says that these cards won't show up for every search result, and you can turn them off as well.

Google was under fire anew from privacy advocates for a change that automatically signs users into Chrome browsers on desktop computers when they sign into any of the company's other services such as Gmail or search. For example, when searching for "What to do in Zion national park", a range of video content selected to highlight the individual landmarks could be presented. This discover tool could keep people glued onto Google's search engine if it shows people a greater variety of information that they otherwise would not have asked for. Previously, Google was working just with publishers to create stories for its AMP format for mobile devices.

The company says the changes are aimed at evolving search as people change the way they look for stuff online. "And we're under no illusion it is", Ben Gomes, Google's head of search, said during an event in San Francisco. That's what pushes us forward to continue to make Search better for our users.

In response, Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly told employees in a memo, "Recent news stories reference an internal email to suggest that we would compromise the integrity of our Search results for a political end". He tweeted that Google's search results are "RIGGED", saying the company is "suppressing voices of Conservatives".

Google has also been accused of using its search engine to promote liberal politics. Trump added the hashtag #StopTheBias.

People will be able to opt-out of the new feature if they don't want their searches cataloged for them. To be sure, Google's search recommendations aren't influenced by what friends or family members are sharing like Facebook's News Feed, but is influenced by one's personal searches.

Check out all of Google's new announcements in this blog post.

First published September 24, 10:35 a.m. PT. Updated, 11:04 a.m. PT: Adds information throughout; Update, 11:21 a.m.: Adds information on new Google programs.

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