Google Adds New 'One-Tap' Search Options to the Google App
Every day, Google handles billions of search queries, with people looking for everything from the weather forecast to what's on TV to any of the various other things we now turn to Google for, almost as an instinct.
But at the same time, other search options are rising. Facebook, for example, now handles two billion searches each day. Pinterest sees over 66 million daily searches. The activity on each platform, of course, is not exactly comparable - what you go looking for on Facebook tends to be much different to why you would conduct a Google search - but they are starting to converge. And every search query not entered into Google is one less opportunity for the search giant to monetize that activity.
And now, Google has come up with a possible new solution to keep more search activity on their turf.
In an effort to simplify the search process and highlight their app's capabilities, Google's announced a new set of one-tap search shortcuts which will connect users to relevant search results, quickly and easily.
As explained by Google:
"Starting today in the U.S., we're introducing tappable shortcuts on the Google app for Android and iOS and Google.com on the mobile web that give you easy access to great tools and the ability to explore deeper within topics you care about."
It works like this - in the latest version of the Google app (US users only), you'll see a new, customizable listing beneath the main search bar with direct links to your favorite search topics.
Tap on any of the topics listed and you'll be connected to the most relevant results, based on your location and individual preferences.
"Need to know whether to bring a raincoat tomorrow? Want the score to last night's basketball game? Looking for what's on TV tonight or who's nominated for best supporting actress? Shortcuts on Google will get you there."
For example, if you're a basketball fan, tapping on the 'Sports' category will bring you to a screen of the latest results.
You can customize the listing to specific teams, or Google will show you what it detects as the most relevant info, based on your past behavior.
You can also change the top preferences listed on the home screen, with a range of options available, including 'directions', 'entertainment', 'movie times' and 'restaurants'.
The tools make it much easier to conduct your regular searches - and really, most of us probably do have those common queries that we end up going back to time and time again. One-tap queries caters to this, while also making more people aware of the various search options and tools available within the app.
For marketers, the implications, at this stage, are not totally clear. Most likely, the results provided simply mirror what that user would have been served if they'd conducted the a regular Google search, so the SEO implications would be minimal, but then again, if the option proves popular, Google could use these tools as a new ad platform. Tap on 'entertainment', for example, and there might be a spot reserved for sponsored events in that region, same with 'restaurants'. There doesn't appear to be anything like this built into the function as yet, but it could be a future consideration.
The tool could also provide Google with a new range of user data on common searches, which it could then use to build into Google Assistant, which is connected to their Google Home voice activated assistant device. If you regularly use certain one-tap links, for example, your Google Assistant will be able to learn what content you want to hear about each day, and provide you with the latest on request. That, again, is not a major marketing concern, as yet, but it soon could be.
Right now, it's more of an interesting add-on, but the extended potential of the tool - as an experiment in advanced search behavior - could have wider reaching implications in future.
Google users in the US can access the new one tap options by upgrading to the latest version of the Google app.
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