Google Takes Steps to Ensure Search Results Are Locally Relevant
Google today said it has updated the way it handles queries in Search and Maps when people travel. Moving forward, people will be served search results based on their actual location, not the domain they've indicated on the web (such as .com, .uk, .de, etc.) Google says people using Search in the U.S. will automatically be served Search and Maps results for U.S. locations. When a U.S. user travels to Canada, Google will automatically switch to the country service for Canada in order to deliver the best, most-relevant results while that person is traveling. Google will switch country service back to the U.S. when that traveler returns to the States. People can customize this if they wish. Google says the update won't impact how well Google Search and Google Maps work. Instead, results should automatically follow people as they move from country to country. The reason behind the change is that many people often type in the domain for their home country even when traveling abroad, which can skew results. The change is being made to the mobile web, the Google app for iOS, and desktop Search and Maps.
Google Maps and Google Search Debut SOS Function
Google today announced its Google Maps and Google Search apps will soon show critical information regarding natural and other disasters that may strike. The SOS Alerts, as they are called, will appear at the top of search results and within maps as people look for information concerning the disasters or impacted areas.
Google Image Search Gains Badges to Help Classify Results
Google today added a new tool to image search that should help clarify what type of content is available within the individual search results. Moving forward, people will begin to see small badges in the bottom left corner of image results that indicate what's behind the image.
Google Search to Improve Symptom Search Results
Google plans to change the results shown when people search for symptom-based information. Moving forward Google will show a list of related conditions to symptoms like stuffy nose, cough, or headache.
Google Makes It Easier to Find Fun Stuff to Do
Google today tweaked its mobile search tools to help people find entertaining activities nearby. Specifically, performing searches for generic events will dial in an easy-to-digest summary of close-by activities from sites such as Eventbrite and Meetup.
Google Search App Gains Tappable Shortcuts
Google today said an update to its mobile search app should make it quicker and easier to find basic information via tappable shortcuts that are positioned underneath the search box. The shortcuts let people perform instant searches for a variety of items, including entertainment, sports, weather, food, news, and more.