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google search

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[Update: App is available] Google Podcasts ready to launch globally on Android with 2 million indexed podcasts

Changes have been afoot with Google and podcasts for many months. Cody has discovered sign after sign of the Google app adding podcast support, there was a long exposé of Google's podcast plans a couple of months ago, and podcast subscription and management then downloads started showing up. The wait is over now and it seems that Google is finally ready to reveal its podcast app and plans.

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Stocks are live in Google Assistant, though they don't do anything new yet

For years now, it's been possible to follow your favorite stocks through Google Now / Feed, or by searching for certain stocks and adding them to your list. However, Assistant currently only understands general questions about stock prices, but doesn't yet know which ones you're interested in. Contrary to regular Google Search which knows what "my stocks" are, Assistant comes up with "I can't do this yet." No bueno. (Yet another symptom of the terrible transition between Google Search and Assistant.) But Google is working on bridging the gap by adding stocks to your Assistant settings.

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Google improves Search to make it easier to find showtimes and theaters

Google has announced today that it's rolling out changes to Search which will make it easier for users to find and buy tickets to a movie they want to see. Now, when searching for a good movie to go watch with some friends, users will be able to quickly filter and compare a whole bunch of factors, including ratings, showtimes, theater locations, and more.

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Google will begin indexing more sites in Search based on their mobile version

Google Search's migration to mobile-first indexing will soon expand to more websites across the web, Google stated in a blog post today. A limited experiment first began in late 2016, pushed by Google's goal to make search results more useful on mobile. Satisfied with the preliminary results, Google has now begun by migrating those websites that currently "follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing."

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Google Search is testing a button that loads 'More results' on the same page

Google Search results go through design iterations faster than you go through underwear... or maybe pajamas. Every few days, there's a new layout, some new colors, different shaped buttons or cards, or other changes happening to search results, but this latest one is more about the function than the form. Instead of loading results in a paginated manner, some users are seeing a button to see more search hits on the same page.

Up until now, the bottom of Google's search results displayed related terms (when available) then a Next button that jumps to the next results on a new page.

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Google is looking to turn product searches into purchases from select retailers with Shopping Actions

According to a report from Reuters, Google has been working on monetizing all the product searches that pass through it and almost inevitably go to Amazon by pointing buyers to other places they can purchase the same item. Search results won't be affected, so you'll likely still see Amazon among the top results if you look for something, but the sponsored shopping results will start showing products from its Shopping Actions partners.

Google has already teamed up with Target, Walmart, Costco, and Ulta Beauty, who are listing their products and linking their loyalty programs on Google Search, Google Express, and through the Google Assistant on phones and smart speakers.

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Google app starts rolling out podcast subscription and management

It must be a happy Cody day today. After Google Maps' Shortcuts, another feature he has been tracking for months in his teardowns is starting to go live: podcast subscription and management in the Google app.

Ever since 2016, when podcasts rolled out in Google Play Music, we have been able to search for a podcast and play an episode right from the Google app / Google Search. However, starting in May of last year, Cody started uncovering signs of better podcast support coming to the Google app and Assistant, and now we have the first look at what they may look like.

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InBrief
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Google's forced SSL search page, encrypted.google.com, is shutting down

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Google Search shows Stack Overflow answers in search results for some users

Stack Overflow is an immensely popular website for asking programming-related questions. If you're ever stuck on a coding problem, typing it into Google and clicking the first Stack Overflow result usually does the trick. Now it appears the last step might not be necessary for much longer, as Google is working to display answers directly in search results.

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"Hey Google" hotword for phones rolling out to more users

For years, the Google Search app for Android has listened for the voice command "Ok Google." This carried over to Google Assistant, but it hasn't become any less awkward to say. When the Google Home was first introduced, it could listen for "Hey Google" in addition to the old phrase.

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