Google announced updates to news in search, adds 3D support to search results and more

Google announced several updates for search on Tuesday, the first day of its annual Google I/O developer conference. These updates go across news, top stories, images, Google Lens and more.

More info in Google News. Within Google search, Google will be rolling out improvements to the Top Stories section. The top stories section will not just contain the most authoritative stories on the topic you searched about but also share information about the topic, the story timeline, and even include playable podcasts. Google will even soon let you search within audio podcasts.

Here is a screen shot from the keynote:

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Google 3D objects and AR. Google also demonstrated how it is adding augmented reality features by bringing in 3D objects into the search results. Google said you can place, view and interact with 3D objects right in your own space. Google said in a blog post that AR features in search will roll out later this month. When you search for certain animals, for example, you’ll have the option to view them in 3D and AR from the Knowledge Panel.

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A “view in 3D” option will start rolling out later this month for select searches.

In the demo, Google showed a 3D skeleton appearing as an overlay in the search results.

You can then place the 3D object in your home or office using AR. This is useful when seeing how a new pillow might look on your sofa. Or how sneakers might look on your feet. Or heck, even how a shark might look like on stage at Google I/O:

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Google Lens. Google Lens updates include the ability to translate text in more than 100 languages.

It will also read text out loud — that feature is first coming to Google’s lightweight search app Google Go.

Lens can also highlight popular items on a menu. Users can can click on star icons overlayed next to dishes on the menu that are matched to related reviews and photos from Google Maps.

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Google Lens can highlight popular items on a menu.

Google said Lens has been used to answer more than a billion visual questions. Lens uses machine learning, computer vision and facts from Google’s Knowledge Graph to provide answers.

Google Assistant. Google is bringing its taskmaster Duplex to the web to helps searchers complete tasks online such as renting a car or buying movie tickets.

Here is a GIF of it in action:

Google Assistant is also getting smarter and faster. Speeding up the Google Assistant by 10X, support multi-tasking and more. Pixel devices will support these updates later this year. You can learn more about these updates to Assistant and why they matter in our coverage here.


About The Author

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Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land’s News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.

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