Google may work on hundreds of different projects these days, but its core product remains Search. The company keeps improving this vital part of its enterprise with small changes all the time, though every once in a while, it has bigger news to share. As such, the company has announced that it's redesigning results for timely topics like news, which will be intelligently grouped in multiple carousels, divided into highlights and more specific subjects.
Google Search has offered a carousel of "top stories" for quite some time already, but it's now starting to go all-in on the format for news. When you search for something like "NASA News" in the future, you'll see additional carousels with more specific topics, such as "NASA adds five companies to moon bid" and "NASA detects water vapor on Jupiter’s moon Europa." The search engine will also pull relevant quotes or related opinion pieces from some stories and display them inside their respective cards (as shown in the image at the top of this article). The top stories will remain the first content you see while regular, carousel-less results will presumably appear below all of the news-specific cards.
Google uses machine learning to generate these groups and to choose the quotes. The algorithm draws connections between articles and determines if they cover the same topics. It looks like this could be based on technology similar to Google News' automatically curated topic carousels.
The company hopes that results will be more relevant this way and won't just bluntly display the latest news articles on a given topic. It says that this clustering "is critical in helping people easily navigate the results and identify the best content for their needs." The changes are part of "a longer-term effort to expand the types of journalistic contributions we highlight to users in Search."
The new look is already rolling out to people using their phones in English in the US and will get "to more languages and locations in the coming months."