Google Is Rolling Out New Search Features In Europe

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Google has introduced fresh search features set to launch in the European Economic Area (EEA) soon. These updates come as part of Google’s efforts to adhere to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). Among the notable changes is the introduction of a carousel-style rich result for searches such as “hotels near me.” Additionally, Google will incorporate dedicated ‘aggregator units’ to highlight links to prominent aggregator sites pertinent to the search query. In a recent blog post, Google articulates its objective to furnish users with comprehensive and pertinent information for their searches while enhancing the visibility of ecosystem participants.

Rich Results Carousel

Google is on the verge of introducing an innovative search feature designed to showcase carousel-style rich results for inquiries pertaining to travel, local services, and shopping.

This fresh format will enable users to navigate horizontally through tiles displaying supplementary details such as prices, ratings, and images.

The presentation of carousel results hinges on web pages incorporating the requisite structured data markup. Absent this markup, pages will persist in exhibiting the standard text search outcomes.

Although initially debuting for travel and local searches, Google is presently experimenting with the carousel for shopping queries across Germany, France, Czechia, and the UK.

Aggregator Units & Refinement Chips

Google is introducing fresh search functionalities that furnish direct links to content sourced from aggregator websites within the top search results.

Moreover, Google is incorporating refinement chips, enabling searchers to refine results based on specific types of content.

The aggregator units encompass a range of categories:

  • Places sites
  • Jobs sites
  • Flight sites
  • Product sites (initially trialed in Germany, France, Czechia, and the UK)

Google assures that implementing these features will not necessitate additional effort from publishers.

Flight Queries

In addition to the aforementioned features, Google is currently experimenting with a novel search feature tailored for flight-related inquiries.

This feature showcases results from airline websites in a distinct unit, facilitating users in locating flight details with greater convenience.

Google’s Invitation To EEA Publishers

The newly introduced search features are exclusively accessible to users within the European Economic Area (EEA) as part of Google’s efforts to adhere to the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Google is extending an invitation to companies based in the EEA or those catering to EEA users to indicate their interest in utilizing these new search features by completing a designated form.

Through these initiatives, Google aims to foster a digital market that prioritizes user needs and promotes competitiveness, aligning with the objectives outlined in the DMA. Simultaneously, these changes present businesses with fresh opportunities to enhance their visibility in search results.

Why These Features Are Exclusive To Europe

Google is introducing these features in Europe in response to a legal mandate to adhere to the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The DMA constitutes fresh legislation within the European Union, designed to govern major technology firms identified as “gatekeepers” because of their substantial market influence.

Scheduled to take effect in March, the DMA mandates substantial modifications by companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, and ByteDance.

As a designated gatekeeper, Google is required to make adjustments to products like Search, Maps, and the Android app store to ensure compliance with the DMA.

Requirements For “Gatekeepers”

The primary objectives of the DMA encompass the following:

  1. Grant users greater flexibility in selecting default apps and services.
  2. Enable the existence of alternative app stores.
  3. Mandate interoperability between messaging services.
  4. Prohibit self-preferencing in search result rankings.
  5. Require user consent for targeted advertisements.
  6. Enhance transparency regarding data practices.

Gatekeepers will be obligated to obtain user consent for targeted ads and provide more comprehensive advertising data to business clients. They will also be required to permit the installation of other app stores on their devices.

Furthermore, e-commerce, search, and social media platforms will be prohibited from unfairly prioritizing their own services over competitors. Messaging services like WhatsApp and iMessage will be compelled to achieve interoperability.

EU lawmakers anticipate that these measures will be advantageous for consumers, empowering them to easily select default apps and services according to their preferences.

Looking Ahead

As the enforcement date of the DMA draws nearer, Google is committed to aligning with the regulations while prioritizing user experience.

With a six-month transition period provided for companies, Google aims to adapt its operations accordingly before the DMA comes into full effect. It is anticipated that this legislation will bring about substantial changes to the digital landscape within the EU.

Original news from SearchEngineJournal