Google Looks To Personalize Mobile Search By Interest, Location

The updated “Google Feed” has arrived. Here’s what that means for Mobile Search.

Mobile Search


Google will update its search app to include curated information based on a user’s interests and what’s trending in their area, the company announced Wednesday — a move aimed at making the mobile search experience more personalized and contextually relevant.

Called “Google Feed,” Google originally rolled out an early version of the feature back in December. But the company will launch the full update Wednesday to U.S. users, factoring in more information and giving searchers the option to “follow” certain topics that are of interest to them.

Here’s how it works: The Google Feed results will appear under the mobile search bar in the Google app, curated based on information Google has culled from a user’s searches across Google properties, trending topics, and information listed in the personal Google calendar as well, San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday. For example, someone who has been searching for Airbnb listings in Amsterdam might see an article for must-see sights in the Dutch city.

Essentially, in the age of AI and intelligent assistants (like Google Home), people are slowly starting to expect more personalized information — and search results in particular. This update is part of Google’s bid to deliver that, getting “smarter” about its users, their location, and their interests.

Of course, the name “Google Feed” has raised a question with its similarity to “newsfeed”: Does the move put Google into more direct competition with major social networks like Facebook for mobile search?

In the short term, probably not. “This feed is really about your interests and what you are doing,” said Ben Gomes, a Google VP of engineering, at a press briefing Tuesday, indicating that the update is primarily aimed at simply providing more relevant search results. “It’s not really about what your friends are interested in.”

Also of note: Google is likely prepared for a significant number of its users to seek and discover this information on mobile search by voice — over 20 percent of searches in the Google app are now made verbally.