So, you know how people often add “reddit” at the end of their Google searches when they want some real-life advice? Let’s say you’re hunting for the best homebrew beer recipe, looking for local hiking spots in Denver, or trying to suss out how much dog food is too much for your new puppy. The idea is to bypass all those SEO-heavy pages and instead tap into genuine discussions from real folks who’ve been in your shoes.
Well, Google caught on to this and is stepping up their game. They’re launching a new part of their search page called “Perspectives,” all about this kind of experience. It’s all about making it easier for you to find honest opinions from people all across the web. It’s basically building on stuff Google’s been working on for a while, but now they’re making it more prominent in their search results
At first, “Perspectives” was a little carousel in the search results, but now it’s getting a big upgrade. In the next few weeks, you’ll see it pop up as a new section right at the top of your search results, mixed in with News, Images, and Shopping. When you click on Perspectives, you’ll see a feed that looks more like Pinterest. It’ll have YouTube videos, comments from Reddit and other community sites, posts from personal blogs, and other stuff that Google thinks are real-deal human perspectives.
This new feature is part of Google’s broader move to make their Search more user-friendly, especially for folks who want more than just a simple answer. As Liz Reid, VP of Search at Google, puts it, a lot of users, especially the younger ones, want to hear from other people, not just big companies or institutions. So they’re trying to make that easier to find.
This push is getting more and more important every day, what with the internet getting flooded with AI-generated junk. Even before the whole ChatGPT thing kicked off, back in August 2022, Google started tweaking its ranking systems with something called the “helpful content update” to give less weight to unoriginal or unhelpful content. These days, they’re also considering whether the content comes from someone who really knows their stuff. As their ranking guidelines put it, sometimes what you value most is content made by someone with first-hand experience on the topic.
Of course, figuring out what counts as a “real experience” or a “genuine perspective” can be tricky. Like, a Reddit comment is usually just one person’s opinion. But what about a YouTube video? And what if that video is made by a whole team or a brand? Do newspaper opinion pieces count as Perspectives? Reid admits it’s a bit of a head-scratcher, but she’s leaning towards including stuff that’s clearly from individuals. So you’ll probably see more forum posts and vlogs, and fewer polished articles and videos. But hey, that’s cool. People want to find other people online, and Google’s trying to make that happen.