Google search gets larger images, enhances ‘About this result,’ gets more ‘shoppable’ and more

By | September 29, 2021


While MUM was the highlight of Google’s Search On event, the company also announced a number of changes to the search results that are important for search marketers to understand. These changes include the launch of larger and more visually browsable search results for some queries, enhancements to the “About this result feature,” a more “shippable” Google search interface, in-person shopping experiences from home and more.

Visual browsing with larger images

Google has rolled out a new, more “visually browsable” interface for some search results pages. You can see them for some searches that contain a keyword plus the term “idea” after it, like [painting ideas] or in the example GIF below, [pour painting ideas]. Google said this interface makes “it easier to visually browse to find what you are looking for.”

This launched earlier this week and I believe Google calls these large image blocks “image universal blocks.” Not only will they appear for idea-related queries but they can also be displayed for apparel queries.

Image: Google.

About this result enhancements

Google initially launched the About this result box in February 2021 and then in July added more details like ranking information to the box. Now, Google is showing even more information in the About this result box: The additions include what the source says about themselves, which can be pulled from places like the site’s about us page. Google can also show web results about the site or page, such as what others are saying about the result and also related results about the topic from other sites.

Google told us that you cannot control what information is being shown from the related results or what others are saying about the result. The search engine uses a set of undisclosed queries to find this information and only sites that meet a certain quality bar can show up in those sections of the About this result box. Google said it will keep an eye on abuse or manipulation of these features but currently, there is no way to tell Google if the information in the box is incorrect and should be removed. Technically, you can probably use the submit feedback button but it is unclear how quickly Google can react to such requests.

Currently, Google said the About this result feature has been used over 400 million times, which translates to a small percentage of searchers.

Image: Google.

Shoppable search

Google has made the Google search experience more “shoppable” for apparel-related queries. This new experience should make it easier to browse for apparel on mobile right from your search results, the company said. Google’s example is when you search for “cropped jackets,” Google Search will show you a visual feed of jackets in various colors and styles alongside other helpful information like local shops, style guides and videos. Google said this is powered by the Google Shopping Graph, which was announced at Google I/O earlier this year.

Image: Google.

In-person shopping at home

Google is adding new in-store inventory in order to make the online at-home shopping experience feel more like shopping in-person at the store. Google said people want to experience in-person shopping from home so now you can filter the results using an “in stock” filter to see if nearby stores have specific items on their shelves.

This is launching in English in the U.S. and select markets, including the UK, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland on September 29th.

Image: Google.

Shopping with Google Lens

Soon, Google app users on iOS will see a new button that makes all the images on a page searchable via Google Lens. This feature will be arriving soon, but it is currently planned only for users in the U.S.

Image: Google.

Similar functionality will also be arriving on Chrome for desktop: Users will be able to select images, video or text on a site to see search results in the same tab. Unlike the iOS version of this feature, Lens in Chrome will be available globally in the coming months.

Image: Google

More MUM In Google

Google has announced a slew of new features around the expanded use of MUM in Google Search. This includes Google Lens and video search features, plus how Google will use MUM in the new “Things to Know,” refine this search and broaden this search and more. See our article over here for more details.

Why we care

Review these new changes Google has rolled out and will be rolling out. See how you and your clients can leverage some of these changes to generate more business and traffic. The one area of concern is the About this result section having third-party information outside of Wikipedia that may be hard to change if it doesn’t have the most positive or accurate information about your company.


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About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.



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