Google is running an experiment that may bring its Discover feed to desktop users.
The Discover feed shows recommended content like news, weather, sports scores, and stock prices directly on the Google homepage, alongside the traditional Google search bar.
The Discover feed on desktop looks similar to the mobile version, populated algorithmically with news, entertainment, sports, finance, and other content. Posts scroll horizontally in a carousel-like fashion.
Bringing Discover to desktop would signal a major change as the iconic, sparse Google homepage has remained essentially unchanged for over 20 years.
Why Add Discover To Desktop?
Google could be testing Discover on desktop to keep users engaged on google.com for longer.
With many going straight to search from their browser bar, Discover may entice searchers back to the homepage to scroll through recommended stories.
For publishers, Discover provides a new way to have content promoted for “free” without ads. But it also means more competition for limited placements on the high-traffic Google homepage.
If Discover performs well in tests, Google could roll it out internationally on desktops like on mobile. This would send much more referral traffic to news and content sites worldwide.
It remains to be seen if this test expands beyond India. Google has previously experimented with adding personalized content modules to desktop searches like news, weather, and stock tickers last year.
For now, the classic Google homepage lives on for most users. But the Discover feed injection shows Google is interested in keeping its homepage relevant in an era of near-ubiquitous search bars.
More About Google Discover
Google launched Discover on mobile in the US in 2018 and expanded it globally. The feed now appears on the Google homepage for mobile users in over 100 countries. Bringing it to the desktop would expose it to even more traffic.
On mobile, Discover takes up the entirety of the Google homepage. On desktop, in testing, it appears condensed underneath the central Google search bar. This allows Google to keep its iconic minimalist homepage design while adding personalized content.
Clicking on a story in Discover takes users directly to the publisher’s site rather than a Google content page. This makes it more publisher-friendly than something like Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE).
Google is testing its Discover feed on desktop homepages in India.
This marks a major potential change for Google’s famously simple homepage design.
If the test goes well, Google may roll out Discover on desktop more widely as it has on mobile.
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