Google 2020 Updates: What’s New?
21 December 2020
Google is one of the most innovative technological forces in the world, built to make our lives easier with every click. It is constantly adding new integrations, features and add-ons, fast becoming a one-stop-shop for queries of any nature. Not only is an information hub, but it is also a virtual map, an email provider, a translator and so much more.
But what’s new in 2020? Here are some of Google’s coolest recent developments and how they can benefit you.
New advancements in language understanding with AI were introduced, including a new spelling algorithm that has the ability to index specific individual passages from web pages and provides new ways to help people find a wider range of results.
Google Maps has also got a fresh look, with an expansion of live business information and details about their COVID-19 related health and safety precautions. Augmented reality (AR) walking directions are now integrated onto the platform, a feature called Live View. This uses Google Lens capabilities to overlay navigation on top of Street View data making it a useful tool.
Ever have a catchy tune stuck in your head, but can’t remember any lyrics? We’ve all been there, and hunting for a song can be incredibly frustrating when we only have the melody to go by – both for us and those who have to listen to your renditions. But thanks to Google’s new update, there’s no need to subject your family and friends to your vexing hums and lalalas. Instead, Google will happily lend an ear. Users can now use the mic icon in the search bar or Assistant to ask “what’s this song?”. If the lyrics elude you, just whistle or sing the tune and let Google identify the earworm once and for all.
But how does it work?
A song’s melody is like its fingerprint – though many are similar, they ultimately have their own unique grooves. Google has built highly sophisticated machine learning models that can scan their databases find you a match. When you sing into the search bar, the models transform the audio into a number-based sequence representing the song’s notes, rhythms and patterns. This cutting-edge technology can isolate the tune, muting any distractions like loud percussion or even background noise.
Google Lens is transforming the way we work, consume, and study. For example, in a world where many are studying from home, Google Lens facilitates remote learning. For subjects like maths which can be difficult to grasp outside of the classroom, students can take a picture of a perplexing equation using Google Lens to identify it. If you’ve just attended a meeting and you’ve scribbled important notes on a page, use Google Lens to make a digital copy to save you the hassle of typing them up and eliminate the risk of them getting lost. The possibilities are truly endless.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how important it is for local services to have up-to-date information online. Every restaurant and store has been impacted differently, with many closing their doors altogether. If a business is still trading in some capacity, it’s crucial that they let people know, otherwise many will assume they are shut. Here’s where Duplex technology comes in. This software is makes more than 3 million updates to businesses that have been seen over 20 billion times in Google Maps and search bars. All businesses have to do is update simple details like operation hours and checkout options using Search or Maps. With Duplex on the web, Google Assistant can also complete tasks on the mobile website that would usually take up to 20 steps to complete, like booking a rental car or buying movie tickets, and even food ordering for faster checkout.
Google is set to begin passage-based indexing for English languages. This will affect 7% of search queries across all languages when fully rolled out. With this new feature, Google can now understand that the passage is a lot more relevant to a specific query than a broader page about that topic.
Google’s systems will be looking at some of the stronger signals about a page– this includes page titles or headings to understand what results are most relevant to a query. While those are the primary factors, this new system may also help you to identify pages that have one individual section that matches particularly well to your query, even if the rest of the page is about a slightly different or overall less relevant topic.
Google’s developments continue to bridge the gap between the digital world and the real world. Its features are essentially a set of tools at our disposal to help us navigate through daily life as seamlessly as possible. Here’s to many more awesome Google updates next year.
Many of Google’s features can benefit your business. If you’d like to know how, speak to the team at Elephant in the Boardroom. We take the time to understand your unique business needs and build a marketing strategy that will get you results. Visit us today at www.elephantintheboardroom.com.au.