Google will now show users whether the results of search queries are personalized or not, the search engine giant announced via its blog.
In February 2021, the Mountain View, California-based search engine added an “About this result” section to provide users with more context of the results of search queries.
Initially, this only included details about the source website. Over time, it expanded this to include additional information about what it took into account to deliver these results.
This latest announcement, which coincides with Google’s Search On event, will now show users if a query result is personalized or not.
“There’s value not just in seeing your search results, but also in understanding the factors that went into our systems to determine that those results would be useful for you,” Google Public Liaison for Search, Danny Sullivan said in the blog post.
The new personalized search feature, which is currently only available in English for U.S.-based users, customizes results based on past searches and browsing history.
“The information in ‘About this result’ can give you a better understanding of how Google connects you to relevant, helpful results,” Sullivan said in the blog. “As always, our goal is to help you discover the information that’s most useful to you, so you can find inspiration no matter what you’re searching for.”
Personalized results, which can be turned on and off via privacy controls, will use previously gathered information to customize recommendations to each Google user.
New Functionality Can Help Recommend Recipes, Movies
According to the blog, one of the uses for this enhanced personalization is for culinary purposes.
“You can search for ‘dinner ideas’ to see personalized recommendations for recipes you might like to try. If you have a specific hankering, you can search by cuisine or dietary preferences — for example, ‘Thai recipes,’” Sullivan said in the blog.
Other uses include discovering new restaurants, personalized shopping experiences, and recommendations about television shows and movies. If a user has personalized results turned on, he or she will be able to select the streaming services they use and get show suggestions aimed at their specific tastes.
Several New Developments Announced at Search On
In addition to the expansion of customized results, Google unveiled several new initiatives at its annual virtual event. These include updates to make search more natural and intuitive, updates to Google Maps like aerial views of landmarks and neighborhood vibe checks, and enhanced information about the environmental impact of choices like driving routes and meals.
Featured image: Shutterstock/Jay Fog