istock-prykhodov-502558343.jpg
(Credit: Denys Prykhodov/ iStock)

The Google search engine turned 20 this week and the company is rolling out new features to celebrate.

Ben Gomes, vice president of Google Search, News, and Assistant, made the announcement yesterday on Google's blog. The updates will aim to refine the most relevant and high quality information, attempt to anticipate future queries, and make searches more visual.

Google now has many services, but its search engine remains what it's best known for. The new features give love to the company's most used product. The updates will periodically roll out over the next few weeks and months.

1. Discover

The Google Feed is getting a revamp and becoming Discover.

"[W]e're giving the feed a name that reflects this mission: Discover. With this new name comes a fresh design that makes exploring your interests easier than ever," Karen Corby, Search's Group Product Manager said.

If a topic is trending, you can tap the colorful little asterisk to learn more. You can follow any topic that looks interesting.

More content is now available in Discover including new videos and pictures. Google will also recycle evergreen content into your results that you may not have seen. Discover is customizable, so you can choose to see more or less of a certain topic by tapping and control icon.

"Discover is unique because it's one step ahead: it helps you come across the things you haven't even started looking for," Corby said.

Discover provides a wide variety of different news sources and searches in multiple languages.

discover-google.jpg
(Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)

SEE: 5 Google Assistant tasks that will make your work life easier

2. Visual Search

Google is making search results increasingly visual with computer vision. Google is integrating Snapchat and Instagram type Stories into the Discover tab and Images that give more information on a topic.

"Featured Videos" will show up in search to give users a more holistic view with more to discover. Google will show a quick 30 second preview as it relates to your search.

When searching in Google Images, the updated algorithm ranks results based on website authority, if the image is central to the page, and more context around the image as it relates to your search.

Google Lens now lets users "draw" on a searched image which can trigger a deeper search on a specific part of the image.

visual-search.jpg
(Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)

3. Activity Cards

Search's new Activity Cards help you retrace your online steps. You can find your search history in account settings and access it while searching.

New cards let you pick up right where you left off during a search, visit related queries, and see relevant activity cards from past searches. The cards only show up when they're relevant, so it won't clutter your searches.

4. Collections and organization

The Collections feature is a way to keep your search content in one spot. It looks and acts similarly to a Pinterest board in that any search you save to it is easily accessible later. Suggestions pop up in Collections too, so you can dive deeper.

Google is also adding a dynamic search result organization tool to help users figure out what to search for next.

"Rather than presenting information within a set of predetermined categories, we can intelligently show the subtopics that are most relevant to what you're searching for and make it easy to explore information from the web, all with a single search," said Nick Fox, vice president of product and design, search, and assistant.

The feature learns and updates over time, keeping information up to date.

FOLLOW Download.com on Twitter for all the latest app news.

suggestions-google.jpg
(Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)


Takeaways

  1. Google turned 20 this week and is rolling out updates for its search engine in the coming weeks and months.
  2. The new features include more visual searches and better ways to organize and keep track of past searches.

Also see

Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.