Sunday, November 27, 2022

Your Google Searches Are Quietly Evolving. Here’s What’s Next - WIRED

Last updated Monday, November 21, 2022 09:05 ET , Source: NewsService

Except for the occasional cosmetic change to its homepage that might give longtime users pause, Google Search evolves without much notice. While Google says that Search is updated thousands of times a year to improve its results and user experience, those updates are invisible to the millions of requesters making billions of search requests a day in 150 languages.

We asked Google to give us some insights into what some of those changes are and how they’re implemented, and, as we enter the holiday season, we got curious and asked questions about Google Ads and Google Shopping as well. Here is what some of Google’s brain trust told us about the ways that Search and these other services continue to evolve out of sight.

How Does Google Decide What to Change?

While the systems that decide what’s relevant and reliable out of the billions of web pages out there are automated, deciding how those automated systems perform their functions requires a lot of effort from a lot of teams to tweak them. “Delivering great results at this type of scale and complexity requires many different systems, and we’re always looking to improve these systems so we can display the most useful results possible,” says Danny Sullivan, Google’s public liaison for Search.

Sullivan says that changes to Search go through a rigorous process before anything new is implemented. In 2021, Google ran more than 700,000 experiments that resulted in 4,000 improvements to Search. “Data from these evaluations and...

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