7 Transformative Google Updates from Search On 2022
Google recently held Search On 2022, an annual event since 2020. Here, the tech giant unveiled the latest features and tools that will launch across Google Search, Shopping, News and beyond.
This year’s focus was on making it more natural and intuitive for users to find what they are looking for – features that may influence how digital marketers need to plan and execute future campaigns.
With this in mind, here are 7 exciting updates from Search On 2022 that everybody should know about:
Improvements to Autocomplete Search Queries
One of the most crucial updates for SEO agencies to be aware of, Google will update its autocomplete searches to include more direct matches for queries.
The aim is to allow users to ask more questions and gather information with fewer words. As you type in the search box, Google will provide keywords and topics to help craft your question. If you’re looking for a destination in Mexico, Google will define your question – “best cities in Mexico for families,” for example – so you can navigate to highly relevant results.
Google will make exploring subjects easier by highlighting the most relevant and helpful information from a variety of sources, such as text, images, videos and other visual stories. This better reflects the way people seek information in 2022, and it will also include content from creators and influencers.
So, why is this important for SEOs? This new layout and way of processing of search results might potentially devalue page 2 SERPs and, therefore, reinforce the importance of page 1 rankings.
Discover More as You Scroll
As marketers, we’ve always known the further you scroll down SERPs, the less relevant the results are; this is about to change.
Google is transforming the SERPs with a new explore feature that gives users new inspiration related to their query but is not an exact match. With Google’s deep understanding of how users search, it will show topics to help you dive deeper or find a new direction on a topic, helping you to discover new things that you might not have otherwise.
This new Search feature also cements the idea that page 1 rankings will be the only ones that matter and page 2 rankings will slowly become obsolete.
Discussions and Forums
Forums such as Reddit or Quora are excellent for finding information and answers to questions from people with expertise or first-hand experience. Google has noticed their increasing popularity and will now start showing a dedicated ‘discussions and forms’ section in Search results.
Although forums have always been a promising way for marketers to share information, they are more important than ever. Start incorporating forums into your content strategy to make sure you’re ready and featured when this new element starts showing for your main search terms.
Multisearch Will Make Visual Search More Natural
Google Multisearch allows users to search by image through their phone’s camera, with a further text query on top of the image. Powered by Google Lens, multisearch then processes the query and presents the user with visual search results.
The groundbreaking AI tool can be used for discovering facts about a building, where to buy a piece of uncredited artwork you’ve seen or even which wallpaper has been used in a local bar.
8 billion queries are currently answered each month using Google Lens, but this is about to get a whole lot more. Google’s first announcement on this service was its imminent expansion into 70 new languages, having only been available to English and U.S.-based searches for its first year.
Explore Local with ‘Multisearch Near Me’
As well as its planned expansion, Google is taking things one step further and launching ‘multisearch near me’ in Autumn 2022.
‘Multisearch near me’ lets users use the functionality to discover search results from the local area; the name is on the tin. For example, take a photo of a meal and Google will show you local restaurants serving that dish, or snap a plant and find directions to your nearest garden centre.
Although we need to await more information on how this feature will impact Search, it’s likely you will will want to adapt your local SEO strategy if you want your business to appear on the immersive map.
Immerse Yourself in the Real World
Google Maps has been pushing the boundaries of what a map can do since day one, but it’s now undergoing major updates to make it look and feel more like the real world. Visual and intuitive maps will allow users to immerse themselves in locations and experience the area as if they are there.
Does it Pass the Vibe Check?
If you’re checking out a new neighbourhood or going on a city break, you might want to know the local hotspots and what’s worth exploring. Through the use of AI and local contributions, Google’s new neighbourhood vibe feature lets you choose a neighbourhood and the most popular spots will come to life through photos, reviews and helpful information appearing on the map.
250 Immersive Landmark Experiences
Google is launching 250 photorealistic aerial views of iconic landmarks, from the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Acropolis and beyond – a leap towards a more immersive map.
Predictive modelling will also learn historical trends for a site and determine what the area will be like the following day, week and month. If you’re visiting London and want to see Buckingham Palace, Google will have all the information to plan your day. You can see nearby car parking, what the weather will be like on the day of your visit and even the best spots to grab a bite to eat. The immersive view will make it easy to experience local restaurants before you get there; you can glide at street level, peer inside and gauge how busy it will be.
Upgrades to Live View
Google Maps is also changing the way you explore a location at the moment. Google is expanding its current Live View feature to help you explore the area more intuitively.
If you’re at a street food market and you need to find a cash machine, you can simply lift your phone to search and instantly see the nearby ATMs. You can also find new spots, such as tube stations, coffee shops or supermarkets, with opening hours, how busy it is and services on offer.
Translate Local and International News
From the start of 2023, users can read translated coverage of national and international news stories. Using a machine translation, Google will show translated headlines for news results from publishers in other languages. Google has implemented this to present “authoritative reporting from journalists” directly from the country at the source of the story to national and international readers.
Influencing More Sustainable Choices
Without a doubt, the most meaningful update from Search On 2022 is Google’s plans for users to make more informed and sustainable choices. From buying a new car, planning a journey route, buying pre-loved clothing or sustainable eating, you will see the environmental impact of your plans or purchases.
Consumer habits are rapidly shifting towards sustainability. With the population making more planet-conscious decisions in their daily lives, Google’s latest feature has come at prime time.
How will this work? Let’s take a look at some examples…
Find Planet-Friendly Vehicles and Travel Routes
If you’re shopping for your next car, low emissions and low fuel consumption might be on your priority list for planet and purse-friendly reasons.
Google will display the annual fuel costs and estimated emissions of a car in SERPs, allowing customers to make informed and sustainable decisions.
Likewise, for electric vehicles, you will be able to see their battery range, charging speed and estimated costs from a quick glance at search results. You will also be able to find nearby charging stations that are compatible with specific vehicle models.
Google also has created an eco-friendly routing feature, helping drivers find the most fuel-efficient route to their destination.
Shop Pre-loved Clothing
Fast fashion is becoming less desirable and vintage clothing is making a comeback; a trend we’re delighted to see. Clothing accounts for 10% of carbon emissions, and Google wants to influence a shift in behaviour.
Towards the end of 2022, Google will emphasise which products are pre-loved on search results, making it easier for consumers to make sustainable clothing choices.
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