Google made a ton of Google search announcements last night. While some of the announcements were already made, many were new. Google reported on changes to BERT, how it understands passages and subtopics on a page, Google's buzz and health and safety features, and much more.

Here is the video of those announcements if you'd rather read:

Let me quickly summarize the more interesting things from this announcement that will interest you all.

BERT

BERT is now used for almost every English query. As you know, when it started a year ago it was used on 10% of English queries. Google said, "We're excited to announce today that BERT is now used in almost every query in English, so you can get better quality results for your questions."

There's nothing you can really do to tweak this, but Google should better understand your content and how it relates to the user's query.

spelling, orthography

Google has a new spelling algorithm that "uses a deep neural network to greatly improve our ability to decipher misspellings". Google said this change "improves spelling more than any of our improvements in the last five years." Whoa.

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I'm going to use some of Glenn's tweets because he put a lot of these changes together well:

Quest in 2020: Breakthroughs in AI. 1 out of 10 searches is misspelled. Google investigates all misspellings and drives, "did you mean" tech. A new spelling algorithm is introduced, with which the spelling errors can be modeled better. Runs in less than 3 ms. pic.twitter.com/hguocgUtoO

– Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) October 15, 2020

Passages

Google can now index parts of a page, a passage within the entire content of the page, rather than the entire content of a page. Google used to say it can't and can't, but now. Google said: "We recently achieved a breakthrough in the ranking and can now not only index websites, but also individual passages of the pages." Google said this will help them improve searches worldwide by 7% in all languages! That way, they can better understand the relevance of certain passages, not just the overall page. This is how you can "find the needle-in-a-haystack information you're looking for".

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Search in 2020: Whoa. Google can index passages on a webpage compared to the entire page. New Algo can enlarge a passage that answers a question and ignores the rest of the page. Until next month. pic.twitter.com/oRwBS7DOIm

– Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) October 15, 2020

This is impressive! How can you optimize for this? Perhaps you are making sure that your passages on your pages are not a big mess?

This is probably one of the most interesting announcements. I covered this in more detail in Search Engine Land after talking to Google about it. Well worth a read.

Subtopics

Google also said it "used neural networks to understand subtopics around an interest, which helps deliver a wider variety of content when you're looking for something broad." Google said that by the end of the year it will "understand relevant subtopics like budget gear, premium tips, or small space ideas, and display a wider range of content for you on the search results page".

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Key moments expanded

Key moments, "In This Video" chapter that started about a year ago will soon be used in "10 percent of searches on Google will use this new technology," Google said.

With the help of AI, we can better identify key parts of videos and help people jump right into the right moments without the creators having to manually tag them. By the end of the year, 10% of Google searches will use this technology. #SearchOn pic.twitter.com/Kf3pyxYMz7

– Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) October 15, 2020

Popular times, COVID information and other maps

Well, I covered the topics with popular times and waiting times this morning. Talking about it here, Google said: "The popular time algorithms from Google Maps have long been able to identify business patterns for a place. As social distancing measures were introduced and companies adjusted their working hours or even closed temporarily due to COVID-19 our historical data none.In order to make our systems more flexible, we started to prefer more recent data from the last four to six weeks in order to quickly adapt to changing patterns for popular times and live business information – with the plan to bring one similar approach to other features like waiting times soon. "

Google also added a local health aid, including "Live business information without searching for a location" and "Live business information for your destination when you get directions". Plus COVID health and safety information that we covered.

Make more informed decisions about the places to visit. In a moment, you'll be able to see how busy a place is right on the map, and get safety information like mask requirements and temperature checks for company profiles in Google Search and @GoogleMaps. #SearchOn pic.twitter.com/fFBORpxf8J

– Google (@Google) October 15, 2020

Google Lens updates

Google released a number of updates to Google Lens Search. Tap an image to discover products while browsing, get help with homework problems and virtually bring your dream car into your driveway.

Your phone's camera can do more than just take selfies. Soon with #GoogleLens & AR you can …
👗 Tap an image to discover products while browsing
📚 Get help with homework problems
🚗 Bring your dream car practically to your driveway # SearchOn pic.twitter.com/YzhSi7YRPt

– Google (@Google) October 15, 2020

Search from 2020: The new learning element of the knowledge diagram can be used via Lens when taking a photo of a math problem. Hmm, very interesting to hear about this new aspect of the knowledge graph. pic.twitter.com/ty6plKpst9

– Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) October 15, 2020

Oh and you can hum a song:

Do you know the song that goes: "da na na na na do do?" We bet google search does. 😉 The next time a title is in your head, just go to #HumToSearch in the Google app and we will identify the title. Perfect pitch not required → https://t.co/xOFYTukjOk #SearchOn pic.twitter.com/3LRN4HJMKG

– Google (@Google) October 15, 2020

2020 Search: Shopping: Starting next month, long press on any picture on the phone and the lens will help you find similar items. Style engine technology knows how to make clothes based on style images. Impressive. This is how you can buy what you see through Lens. pic.twitter.com/KtML3Jki2n

– Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) October 15, 2020

Search from 2020: AR brings you the showroom. Search for it on Google and you will see a realistic model in front of you. You can zoom in to see details, in front of the scenery, or your driveway. Coming soon (next months). pic.twitter.com/KfkoeRDpbb

– Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) October 15, 2020

Plus some updates for Duplex and Google Assistant.

It's a lot, but SEOs are great at change.

Forum discussion on Twitter.

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