The Internet giant rolled out a set of three new features this week in an attempt to add a little extra to your search results. We’re telling you right now, procrastination will take over the world and society will crumble.
It’s no secret that Google is the most widely used search engine in the world. In consequence, the way its algorithm decides to display results has a huge role in shaping the general zeitgeist and pretty much deciding how the whole world thinks.
Google’s search engine has been criticised in the past for displaying results that are far from being informative and only reinforce the user’s current beliefs independent of their truthfulness or veracity.
It also has been the centre of various controversies surrounding how easily search results can be manipulated for commercial or political gain.
To provide people with a larger and more varied spectrum of results in their queries, the technology giant has launched a series of new features that attempt to not only answer your questions, but also give you information you didn’t even think to ask about.
“In the last few weeks, we’ve made three new additions to help you explore further, including expanded Featured Snippets, improved functionality of Knowledge Panels, and suggested content as you search for a particular topic,” writes Product Manager Michael Galvez on Google’s official blog.
The “Featured Snippets” feature was designed to provide a quick answer to a certain query. But more often than not, this snappy immediate answer was extracted from sources of questionable reliability.
Now, the newly polished feature provides better answers along with more images and related searches. The objective is to help the user discover new things associated with the query.
They’ve also updated “Knowledge Panels”, a function that shows you related content searches and broadens the topic you’re looking for.
Similarly, Google’s search engine also piles up previous searches to suggest related topics to the user.
On paper, the new features seem a good attempt to help us to discover new information. But if you’re a professional procrastinator and information junkie like me, odds are you’ll spend hours on a single search learning so much stuff at the end you won’t even remember what was it that you were looking for in the first place.