Now this is interesting. Google is allowing you to “follow” topics *in search* for updates to that topic to appear when you re-do the search, or in your Google App feed. You may also get a “News For You” section in search. Interesting.
Google by now must have recognised that more people are spending more time in other apps and while searches are increasing as we spend more time online, the percentage of time spent on Google vs other apps is decreasing. In that case, ad revenue is challenged because fewer eyeballs equals fewer impressions and clicks and so on. The other challenge is that users are also doing their search in those apps, like we talked about Gen Z and TikTok search a few weeks back.
By allowing you to save topics of interest, you can come back and save yourself time if its a regular search, or keep up with updates if the topic is continually updating – I’m not sure how it works with newsy topics at the moment. So, with enough topics, you create a self-curated topic feed which you can use and read to your heart’s content. Build up enough good quality topics and you can almost live in search. As a site owner, you might be able to suggest the topic to follow, eg “Follow XYZ Brand on Google Search”.
Let’s not pretend it’s a Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok killer app, but it may go some way to prevent user’s search frequency, or time on site from being decimated by those apps. It has the capacity to be handy, but it’s not likely to be a world-beater. That said, I miss iGoogle.
Want to talk about Google Search in all its flavours and technicalities? Talk to me.