AI Update Enhances Google Collections
If you have ever used a site like Pinterest, you're familiar with the concept of the rather similar Google Collections. Users can create their own collections of content, which they can then browse whenever they would like to do so. Pinterest does this with images, but Google Collections takes things a step farther and allows people to collect links, images, map locations, articles and much more. It's designed to be a place where people can store up things that interest them, especially when they find something but do not have the time to dig into it a bit deeper at the moment. They can work to create a more personalized web experience. Naturally, this also gives Google a lot of information about what specific users enjoy and value.
The goal of the new AI feature is simply to help people find content that Google thinks they would like. As reported in Forbes, it will "use advanced algorithms to provide suggestions about the content users should add to their collections." One example given is that it can suggest sites from someone's history. If they went to a page that they want to revisit and forget to add a bookmark, they then have to open up their history and scan through until they find it. If Google instead sees what sites they go to the most and tells them to add it to the collection, it's easier to find again later.
Focusing on the User
On one hand, a change like this clearly has a focus on getting more traffic for Google. If a user creates a large collection of saved information, they'll visit it first when seeking out related information on the internet. Google hopes that this means people will use their collections instead of, say, turning to Amazon and running a search there. They can click through a link in their collection and find what they need.
It is important to note, however, that the user experience is also a major area of focus. Google wants to make things easier for users and streamline the experience that they have. They can ease frustrations over lost or forgotten links. They can recommend updates to collections that people may not have thought of on their own. By using the past data, they can target these recommendations carefully so that they are valid to the user -- similar to how they already use targeted ads to make sure that people only see ads for things they are interested in.
In this sense, Google is being proactive. The site is no longer simply about letting someone run a search and reacting to that search. The AI will take steps to draw the user into specific searches and experiences all on its own. This creates a sort of loop where someone's interests and actions help expand a collection that can then influence their interests and actions.
The Changing Web
The internet is always changing, and it's crucial to understand how those changes impact users' behaviors and tendencies. You need a site that is optimized to give them the type of content and experience they desire. Make sure you know how you can react both to these changes and to what users want to create a positive experience, to increase your ranking, and to make sure your site stays relevant.
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