AI technology is advancing, and pretty soon, we’ll have robotic servants to do our bidding. While we’re not quite there yet, AI and machine learning processes are improving, changing the way we use various apps thanks to a plethora of recommendations and suggestions. On that note, Google has recently announced a new search update that will provide related topics to help refine your query as you go. 

Could You Have Been Clearer?

Based on official examples, Google will now provide a listing of related topics within your search results, providing an easy way for users to tap on each and hone their results. As Google explains: 

“You can add or remove topics, which are designated by a + symbol, to quickly zoom in or backtrack on a search. For example, if you’re searching for ‘dinner ideas’, you might see topics like ‘healthy’ or ‘easy’. Tapping on a topic adds it to your query, helping you quickly refine your search results with less typing.”

Google basically built on Pinterest’s 2014 ‘Guided Search’, taking that functionality and placing it within the main Google Search page. Google has already replicated guided search several times, for recipes, images, and within its Shopping tab. So, functionally, it’s nothing new at all, but it is interesting to consider within the context of the general Google Search process, and how such might play a role in driving future discovery trends and maximizing the app’s functionality. 

Google says that the related topic listings are dynamic and will evolve alongside your behavior. That essentially gives you a bit more wiggle room to refine your results and make it a bit easier to skim through different ideas while honing in on more specific areas. 

SEO-wise, that shouldn’t have too much of an impact, since it’s working with existing trends anyway. The add-on qualifiers should, at most, relate to what people are already looking up to, not so much guide them toward new areas of interest. On the other hand, it could also boost existing trends by reiterating them to more users. For example, people who regularly search ‘dinner ideas’ might be shown a few ‘healthy’ add-ons, potentially leading to ‘healthy dinner ideas’ or even ‘healthy recipe ideas’ over time. 

At most, it could help guide user behavior towards more common trends, which, again, should not have a big impact, but could also help make the most common trends more significant over time. This could have an impact on long-tail search terms and more specific trends, but that also implies that a lot of people are using these add-ons, which no one can vouch for just yet.

The Wrap

Again, AI and machine learning are on the rise, becoming more common elements of the online experience, with new systems like ChatGPT even outshining Google in terms of providing more in-depth answers, based on various web inputs. Some believe that these newer competitors might even end up disrupting Google’s hold on the Search ecosystem. As such, it’s not really surprising to hear Google push its weight so that it stays relevant. The most interesting thing about this has to be seeing how these systems evolve and if we are on the cusp of a new search leader.