This month, Google introduced more cookie choices in Europe, a new solution for e-commerce sites designed to give online retailers Google-quality search capabilities, and a new way to search the web using a combination of text and image. At the same time, LinkedIn updated its feed algorithm to show more targeted activity from a user’s network.
Google introduces Retail Search for e-commerce sites
Google has announced the release of Retail Search, a new solution for e-commerce sites designed to give retailers Google-quality search and recommendations capabilities. With Retail Search, online retailers can implement Google-quality search that is customisable and built upon Google’s state-of-the-art AI, which provides an advanced understanding of user intent and context to help increase conversions and reduce search abandonment.
Retail Search allows for a more accurate understanding of what the searcher is looking for by effectively matching product attributes with website content and creating high-personalised search experiences. By using ML-powered object recognition, the solution can also help shoppers search for products with an image and provide real-time results of similar or complementary items from your product catalogue. In terms of pricing, there’s no charge for importing or managing user events or catalogue information but search and browse queries in Retail Search are charged at $2.50 per 1000 requests.
Google Multisearch: Use text and images in the same query
How often did you want to find out about an object in front of you, but you find it difficult to put it into words? Well, that’s where Google Multisearch comes in. With Multisearch, which is available as an added function in Google Lens, Google is introducing a new way to search the web using a combination of text and images at the same time. Simply open up the Google app on Android or iOS, tap the Lens camera icon and either search for one of your screenshots or snap a photo of something around you. Then, swipe up and tap the “+ Add to your search” button to add text. Google Multisearch is currently only available as a beta feature in English in the US.
New changes to LinkedIn’s feed algorithm
Recently, LinkedIn has updated its feed algorithm and is changing how content is ranked in users’ feeds. To begin with, LinkedIn now provides options for users to limit the content they’re not interested in and choose to see more content from thought leaders, industry experts, and creators who aren’t in their network. Users will also be able to limit the amount of political content that shows up in their feed. However, this functionality is currently available in beta version only to US users.
The recent changes to LinkedIn’s feed algorithm aim at showing more targeted activity from a user’s network by prioritising posts and content that are more relevant to users’ individual interests and provide opportunities for authentic engagement. On the other hand, LinkedIn’s feed will show less irrelevant updates from people you’re not connected to, low-quality click-bait posts designed for interactions, and polls from people you don’t know, among others.
Google: New cookie choices for European users
In January, France’s data privacy watchdog CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés) fined Google 150 million euros for making it difficult for users to reject cookies. The CNIL claimed that while Google provided a button that allows the immediate acceptance of cookies, there was no equivalent to refuse them as easily. The authority said the company had three months to comply with its orders or face an extra penalty payment of 100,000 euros per day of delay.
The company has now completed a total redesign of its approach, including changes to the infrastructure they use to handle cookies. More specifically, users visiting Search and YouTube in Europe while signed out or in Incognito Mode will see a new cookie banner that now includes a “Reject All” along with the usual “Accept All” button (you can also still choose to customise your choice in more detail with the “More options” button). These changes were introduced in France before expanding to the European Economic Area, the UK and Switzerland.