Google to Make Search and Maps More ‘Immersive’ – The New York Times

From more photo-based results to neighborhood “vibe” checks, the company announced updates meant to keep two of its most popular products on trend.

Google’s search engine looks a little different these days. Results pages are now often filled with shopping items, maps, news articles, information bulletins and ads before people can scroll to lists of outcomes — the blue links that became synonymous with the service.

On Wednesday, at an event called Search On in San Jose, Calif., Search engines executives signaled that the search engine would keep up with Silicon Valley’s latest trends, continuing the company’s march away from text queries and results to become a lot more focused on images and “immersive” material.

When people look up vacation destinations, for example, they will see what Google calls “visual forward” research results — organized tiles of photographs presented much like Stories on Snapchat or Instagram, along with a map plus images from travel sites that link to guides.

Users will be able to search Search engines using pictures and text simultaneously, pointing their cameras at an armchair or a shirt, for example , and refining their queries along with text. “Your camera is your next keyboard, ” Prabhakar Raghavan, a senior vice president at Google, wrote in a blog post.


Among the new Google features will be the ability to lookup using a phone camera.

“We’ve continued in order to create more natural plus intuitive ways to find information, ” Mr. Raghavan wrote about the particular changes, which he said the company expected to put into effect in the “coming months. ”

Wednesday’s event was the third annual Search On, which was started months after Mr. Raghavan gained oversight of the search engine and related departments. Google has routinely made thousands associated with changes to its research engine per year. While many are small, they add up in order to notable changes for people who use it.

Search engines revolutionized how people found information online in 1998. In the decades since, it has amassed billions of users who turn to the particular service to find nearby restaurants, look upward movie times and fact-check their friends.

The internet today is a more cluttered place than it once was, plus Google offers responded by offering a good increasing number of methods to retrieve its information services and trying to keep up with en vogue technologies meant to appeal to Generation Z . Still, the updates amounted to subtle evolutions of a winning — and very profitable — formula.

The company in 2020 introduced Live View in Google Maps, allowing people in order to use their own cameras to figure out where they are and get directions. Now, users will be able to search with Live View, lifting their particular camera so Google can point them to the nearest A. T. M. or even cafe, using augmented reality — technology that puts digital overlays on images of the particular real world.

A. R. will be expected to become one of the following battlegrounds for Google and its competitors, along with the related virtual fact.

Cathy Edwards, the vice president plus general manager of Google Search, said that while the company knew that Gen Z had a “strong preference with regard to visual, ” the company was not interested in building products for just one segment from the population.

Still, the organization seemed to take inspiration through young customers when naming one new Maps feature, which shares the best attractions in unfamiliar areas based partly upon user reviews. Search engines called it Neighborhood Vibe.

“Get the vibe check before you visit, ” published Chris Phillips, vice chief executive and general manager associated with Google Geo, which includes Maps.