Google’s New Search Could Significantly Change Content Discovery

Both channels let people discover valuable content—just in different ways. Search was more transactional, asking users to come prepared with a keyword or a question. Social was more open, letting users wander until they found something they liked. The centerpiece of the revamped search will be Google Discover, which offers users a customized content feed regardless of whether they type in a search query. The recommendations won’t just be breaking news, either. Instagram copied Snapchat’s Stories feature. We’re not that far away from a world where all major platforms have slightly different versions of the same features. Social media platforms have gotten hammered for facilitating filter bubbles and digital mobs. The announcement could also signal a new approach to SEO. As brands and publishers continue to focus on the customer experience and loyal audiences, search engines and social media platforms have the technology to power those long-term relationships.

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Search engines have historically been distant cousins to social media platforms. Both channels let people discover valuable content—just in different ways. Search was more transactional, asking users to come prepared with a keyword or a question. Social was more open, letting users wander until they found something they liked. But with Google’s latest announcement, they’re about to become a lot more like twins.

On September 24, Google unveiled plans for new search features. The centerpiece of the revamped search will be Google Discover, which offers users a customized content feed regardless of whether they type in a search query. It’s unclear if Discover will also draw on past searches, but people can pick topics that interest them to fill the feed. The recommendations won’t just be breaking news, either. According to Karen Corby, Google’s group product manager for search, the move will still serve up evergreen pieces of content that “aren’t new to the web, but are new to you.”

content discovery Google search

Sound familiar? This version of Google starts to look a lot like parts of Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and Pinterest. As we’ve pointed out on this site in the past, tech companies like to copy each other. Instagram copied Snapchat’s Stories feature. Google is morphing search into a Facebook-esque newsfeed. And word’s out that Instagram is testing a…

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