One of the great things about online search giant Google, is just how innovative they are. It’s clear that all areas of the company are constantly striving to bring more products and services to its users, as well as continually improving the way everything currently already works.
There are new services added to Google’s offering weekly and a fresh set of rumours about the company’s next steps daily!
So, we’ve picked our top four new features and have explored why they matter to you. Some have been implemented recently and others are just being trialled and rolled out to only a select few users.
1. Google+ public posts
Last week, Search Engine Land revealed that Google has begun integrating public posts from Google Plus into its search results.
For some time now users have been able to see search results with annotations under them about which of their friends has tweeted about a link, or shared it on Facebook. We’ve discussed this area in more depth in our post, Social media activity boosts search rankings. So, it was only a matter of time before Google began adding information from its own social network too.
Now, links that your friends and contacts share on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ may appear with annotations in your search results and they will also rank higher than links not shared in your networks.
Matt McGee of Search Engine Land is friends on Google+ with Ford, so sees this when he searches for something that Ford has shared on the network:
This development means that Google+ is now just as important as Facebook and Twitter when it comes to getting people to share your content and engaging with other users on the network.
2. Infinite scrolling
The Next Web reported last week that Google is trialling infinite scrolling for its main page search results. This means that instead of there being pages at the bottom of the screen, there’s simply a load more tab which allows users to continue scrolling on and on without the need to click on different pages.
This new development could have a number of implications for those working in online marketing, but it’s hard to say exactly how the user’s experience would be affected as it’s currently only being rolled out to a select few users. However, we’d expect that if people don’t have to click on new pages it may mean that they see many more results than usual. In the past people only stayed on the first page and possibly clicked onto the second, but now they may see many more links going down to what would have been the 8th or 9th pages.
3. Sitelinks are expanded and improved
Google has recently begun expanding its sitelinks, so that when you search for something you also see links to other elements of the site.
So, if you search for “Tate modern gallery” in Google, links to other areas of the site appear too.
Google reveals this is because people often search for something when really they need to be at a specific section of the site. For instance, if you want to visit the Tate Modern’s shop, you will often just search ‘Tate Modern” and now the sitelink for the shop pops up too, getting users to where they need to go quicker.
4. Weather layer to Google Maps
Granted, changes to Google Maps may not necessarily be useful for your business, but they’ll definitely be handy for personal travel and holidays.
Google has recently added weather data on top of its usual Maps interface, making Google even more of a one-stop-shop for information as well as maps and directions.