Since the first fireworks went off to usher in 2018, Google has implemented several changes, some of which dramatically shake up some of Google’s most popular tools and features. While we shouldn’t expect the following changes to impact UK SEO services in the same way that Penguin updates or meta information changes have in the recent past, they do however form part of Google’s continued efforts to respond to user feedback, and so are well worth checking out:
The New Search Look
If you use a desktop computer to conduct searches you may have noticed that the Google “People also ask” feature has had a facelift. What was a box insert of dynamic-loading questions with dropdown responses, is now a “People also search for” feature that will appear when you click on a search result away from Google, and then click back to the original results page.
Changes in the Google Calendar
In October 2017, Google announced the Calendar tool should look different sometime early in 2018. The company unveiled the new look Calendar tool in January, with a design that appears similar to what Google had created for years. Virtually everyone using Calendar received an automatic update on 8th January or 15th January, depending on whether you had the Rapid Release update option or you stayed with the default rollout update option.
Arts & Culture App Update
Google has found a way to generate interest in the fine arts by updating the Arts & Culture app. The free app offered by the search engine leader offers users several neat features like virtual art museum tours and visual searches for renowned pieces of art. Google has taken selfies to a new level by asking users to send in self-taken photos, which the company configures to find similar appearing artwork. Google’s genius strategy sparked a viral social media trend that has gained considerable momentum since the end of January.
Making Travel Easier on Mobile Devices
Unless you lived in a cave over the past five years, you understand how mobile devices have changed online marketing and the ways we search for information. Recognising the movement to mobile devices early in the transformation, Google has consistently introduced new tools to enhance mobile device user experiences. Such is the case for the new tabs Google recently rolled out that allow users to switch quickly between trip, flight, and hotel information. The goal is to make planning holidays and business trips much easier no matter the size of the mobile device screen used.
Google announced the new features include improved options for price filtering, easy to access hotel amenities information, and the capability of users to book hotel rooms from Google’s platform. Eric Zimmerman, who is the Director of Travel Product Management at Google said, “You’ll see that if you search for a flight in Google Flights, you can click right in to ‘Hotels’ at the top of the page. This lets you easily click over to check hotel availability and prices in your destination city for the dates you’ve already selected. The same options appear if you want to learn about a specific place, or when searching for things to do there. Let’s say you’re checking out a trip to Sydney. You can now easily click to browse available hotels or flights while you’re exploring the destination.”
Google also plans to add a “More Destinations” feature that you access from the “Explore” tab to increase the number of travel destination ideas. The “Your Trips” tab presents information for all upcoming trips by connecting to your Gmail account.