Published on October 23rd, 2018 | by Bibhuranjan


Google’s 20th Anniversary: Google Confirms New Features & Updates

Google’s 20th Anniversary saw the announcement of a number of new search features. It is critical for any SEO professional to keep themselves apprised of all new updates or search algorithm changes that Google comes up with from time to time.

September was an insane month in that respect for the SEO analysts and the webmasters because there were some confirmed algorithm updates accompanied by many unconfirmed ones. The digital marketing services were on their toes all through the month trying to figure out if the unconfirmed ones were really happening or not and aligning their strategies with the confirmed algorithm updates. It is a mandatory requirement for the SEO agencies to keep up with the changes because only then they can understand the traffic patterns and adopt methods divert it to their clients’ website and make them rank higher in the SERP.

When the search engine giant turned 20, its VP – Ben Gomes came out with a plan of how the search engine will be working in future. It was in tune to the goal of Google to keep making information more accessible and useful for its users. This goal has made people Google fans and this is why when people need any info, instead of saying ‘search on the net’, they say ‘Google it.’

The new features and updates that were announced on Google’s 20th Anniversary are focused on machine learning, structured data and are for mobile devices. The new features are a mix of the adaptations or expansions of existing capabilities, brand new introductions and some are also inspired by its competitors. Here are some of them:

New SERP Features

In order to keep providing its users with a good and greater access to the world’s information, there will be three fundamental shifts and these are:

• From answers to journeys

• From search queries to a query-less discovery

• From text to visual content

Taking cues from Microsoft’s research that search is not a one-off behavior, Google came up with Activity Cards and improved Collections to personalize the search journey of its users. If a user comes back, the Activity Cards will surface “where you left off in search”. Thus, a user will be able to see all his previous sites, pages and queries. It also has an option of editing and removing the results from the cards in case the user doesn’t want it to show up for any query.

Collections were already in existence and it allowed the users to save and organize the content on their mobile phones. As a further enhancement, now the users will be able to save the pages they want to their Collections directly from the Activity Cards. They will also get suggestions of the related topics, thus helping them in their search.

Google is also coming up with “topic layer”. So, for any topic, there are ample of stuff available on the internet. Google will analyze all that is available on the web, including the subtopics and then identify those that are most relevant, evergreen or has the latest content. It will then display the type of content that the user is most likely to explore next.


Google Feed, which is an increasing source of traffic for the third-party publishers with over 800 million monthly active users, is now renamed as ‘Discover’. Besides a name change, which will appear on the mobile version of the Google home page, there are some enhancements to it too. There are new controls introduced. All the content items will now have a topic heading and users can decide if they are interested in seeing more or less of the content on that particular topic. Besides the text content, Google will also be adding more of video content to its feed.

Visual Search

Google is now expanding its AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to search results. The stories are much more engaging and immersive stuff and Google initially plans to expand them around athletes and celebrities. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), it will construct AMP stories about them, which will include all the important moments in their lives, thus creating a rich visual format. The “featured videos” will help users find videos that they will be interested in.

Testing New Feature in Google My Business

Google My Business is very important for businesses to publish about their stores and give relevant information about it to their potential customers. Now, Google is trying to introduce a feature, which will allow businesses to add information like when a new location will be opened with a future date of opening of business. The feature is already in the testing phase.

On Google’s 20th Anniversary, many new features were introduced, but care was taken to ensure that they should not disrupt but rather align with Google’s core principles of search. These core principles include a user-focused approach, providing the relevant and highest quality information to the user, the algorithm approach which results in searching effectively etc. Before introducing any new feature or update, Google does a rigorous testing and only when satisfied the updates and changes are shifted from the beta stage to full adoption.

With the introduction of new features and updates, Google is trying to bring in much more structured content into its search results. The search console came out of beta on its 20th anniversary and Google released many other new features too. These will help the users to search more effectively and efficiently and the SEO agencies need to adapt their strategies with these new updates to keep getting higher visibility in SERPs


To commemorate its 20th anniversary, Google not only rolled out new features and updates but also explained to its users that it has been working relentlessly from the past 20 years keeping their expectations in mind. It made it clear to its users that it has always remained committed and will continue to do so in pursuing its core mission, which is to organize the information and make it universally useful and accessible for its users.

Author bio

This article is written by Micheal Anderson, he is a digital marketing expert and handling various projects in the Boston, USA for Techmagnate (a well known SEO Company in India). He also likes to share his informative articles with tech-savvy people.


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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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