At a 20th anniversary and future of search event, Google announced a number of new search features. Some are new, some are expansions or adaptations of existing capabilities, and some are borrowed from competitors’ products (Snap, Instagram, Pinterest). Ben Gomes, VP of search, led off the event with a brief historical overview of Google’s mission and approach to organizing information. He then introduced conceptual buckets defining the next generation of search capabilities, three “search shifts”: From answers to journeys, from search queries to queryless discovery, and from text to visual content.
Google has confirmed that it made a “small” algorithm update to its search ranking system this past week. Danny Sullivan from Google said on Twitter “We haven’t had a major update of that nature, but we did have a smaller one this week.”
A team of Googlers quietly uncovered an ambitious new concept for mobile web design, called ‘Portals’, that promises to make Chrome for Android feel snappy and immersive. As first spotted by XDA, Portals are designed to first show you a view of a second website inside of another website. That view can then seamlessly expand to take over the browser tab. In many ways, this is no different from a link on the web. The difference is that a portal’s destination is preloaded and, when “activated”, will animate into position for a more immersive experience.