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13

Google Search news results get a Material Design refresh

With Google, you have many ways of accessing the news. If you want to dive into a particular topic, your best bet is to use Google Search itself. Soon, you'll be able to do that in a fancier fashion in the search app and on the mobile web, as Google is working on a Material Design refresh for its news section. Our lucky tipsters got an early glance at it through the company's notorious A/B testing.

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10

Google Search now scrolls to relevant featured snippet on AMP links

One of many useful features in Google Search, 'featured snippets' pulls answers to common, simple questions from relevant web pages and puts them front and center when you enter a query. Usually, tapping through to the article Google got the answer from does nothing other than take you to that page, but new behavior has been observed whereby it will scroll you to the snippet on that page.

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19

Google search app gets Material Design refresh for bottom bar and settings

Whether you know it as Material theme or Material Design 2, Google continues to roll out its refreshed Material aesthetic across all of its various properties. The latest to gain the new look is the Google search app itself, which is rolling out a new bottom bar look that swaps out a search button for a shortcut to 'Collections,' where users can find saved content like images, bookmarks, and Maps lists. Additionally, the minimalist new look is coming to the search app's settings. If all that's not enough search-related news, one tipster has also given us a first look at the UI for 'Your contributions,' a search feature that's not live yet.

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18

Google Search explains the formula for all its unit conversions

One of my most frequent searches on Google are conversions. From inches to centimeters, Kilograms to pounds, Celsius to Fahrenheit, I've had to use it all because I work on a US-centric website (and browse US-centric news and shops) but I live in a country that uses SI units throughout. I inherently understand and visualize SI units, but I can't do that for imperial or US units. I've learned a few of the easy conversions though, so I can get an approximate answer in my head when in a hurry, but Google has just rolled out a feature that could help me even more.

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8

Google Search is testing a mobile scroll overlay featuring relevant subtopics

Google recently revealed new Search features that mark, in its words, a "fundamental transformation" in the way users look for and find content on the web. The updates all focus on a shift towards more tailored, personalized results. One major addition is activity cards, which surface pages you've already visited related to your current search. Another is a new "dynamic organization" of search results that provides users with relevant subtopics specific to their inquiry. For instance, when you search "pug," you see subtopics like "buy or adopt," "health," and "how to train" in a row along the top of the primary result.

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5

Google Search will make trip planning even easier with more personalized information

Travel is not a new area of interest for Google, with lots of customized cards in Search aimed at getting you the best deals on flights and hotels, as well as the dedicated Google Trips app to bring all of your bookings together and offer additional recommendations and guides. Further enhancements to Google Search are going to make it even more convenient for planning trips.

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33

Google Search undergoing 'fundamental' shift towards more tailored, personalized results — but will that hurt discovery?

With the growing commercial use of AI, the platforms we use daily are becoming more and more customized. When a social media platform recommends the best content for you, it's distilling out things that you don't like — providing you with that infamous echo chamber effect. Of course, this isn't constrained solely to social networks. Google Search uses AI, as well. In fact, the tech giant has just announced that it's adding several "intelligent" recommendation features to its original product, with a focus on what it calls "longer [search] sessions," that span multiple days. In the announcement blog post, Google calls this a "fundamental transformation" — but is it one that could harm the discovery of different sources and viewpoints?

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33

Chrome tests hiding URLs for Google searches

URLs for Google search results are big, ugly things that contain a lot of information you probably don't need to see most of the time. The team behind Chrome development is looking into remedying that eyesore, though, by showing your search terms in the Omnibox rather than the full URL for the results.

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41

Google Search desktop UI showing refreshed Material Design with rounded corners and persistent search bar

I've been noticing it pretty much since I arrived in Germany for IFA 2018, and now we've had a few tips from readers to confirm it. Google's desktop search UI is being updated to more closely follow the latest evolution of the company's Material Design guidelines — this means rounded corners everywhere, more white than a snowstorm, and a persistent search bar.

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