In a post published on their Inside Search blog yesterday, Google announced a major change in the way their mobile search will find and present content. Whereas previously, mobile search worked in a similar way to their desktop search engine, providing news articles and web searches on separate pages and not grouped by content creator or publishers, now Google’s mobile search will present you with ‘carousels’ of content related to your search keyword grouped by organisation. So what exactly is a ‘carousel’ and how will it affect the way we access content from Google on our mobiles?
Essentially, the ‘carousel’ is a rolling stream of content from a particular publication grouped together for ease of access. Google describe it as a mix of the “most relevant content” available from a “single website grouped together in one easy-to-scan place”. For example, if you searched for ‘Greece’, you would be presented with groups of content about the country from a number of different major news publications (like the Guardian and New York Times), as well as information from Wikipedia, Google Maps, and more results from a traditional Google web search.
The premise behind the idea is that Google want to make it easier for users to access the content they most want to see. As they state in their blog post, “it can be hard to sift through all the great videos, articles and more out there to find what interests you” when conducting a web search on your mobile. These new carousels, then, will make it easier to find the content you want without spending valuable time sorting through hundreds of search results, meaning that you can get to your desired content faster than ever before.
This new function hasn’t been rolled out to include every major news site just yet, but there are a number of newspapers and journals taking part in the first stage, including the Guardian, NPR (National Public Radio), and ESPN. They have said, however, that we should start to see more and more carousels appearing in the near future, as more sites make their content available in this way.