You can search offline now and get results (with Android) when your phone reconnects to the WWW and that is a big deal for digital marketing.
Google started rolling out the new feature last week.
“Whether you’re a commuter reading the news with a spotty network, a farmer looking up crop prices with no service in the fields, or just driving through a tunnel, all is not lost when your search is interrupted by a bad connection,” explained Google Product Manager Shekhar Sharad in a blog post. “Now on the Google app for Android, even if your search fails, Google will deliver your results as soon as a connection is available—so you can keep searching with a single tap.”
It’s a big deal because – and we’ve all had these moments – we tend to forget about something we thought at one moment we needed to know, searched for it, didn’t get any results because our phone signal was too weak or simply disconnected and, then, forgot all about it when our attention spans waned or we thought about the next bright, shiny object.
“With this change, search results are saved as soon as they are retrieved, even if you lose connection afterwards or go into airplane mode,” wrote Sharad. “So the next time you lose service, feel free to queue up your searches, put your phone away and carry on with your day. The Google app will work behind-the-scenes to detect when a connection is available again and deliver your search results once completed.”
Google promises the new feature won’t drain a phone’s battery (any more than it’s drained by actually being off-grid, we suppose) and will only “minimally” affect data use.
For nearly two years more people have been searching for information with mobile devices than with desktop or laptop computers.
And because more search queries are performed now on mobile devices than on keyboards on our laptops or desktops, Google has been working to improve its response while website owners improve sites to be more visible to searches made by voice rather than keystrokes. There is a big difference.
“The Google app is starting to truly understand the meaning of what you’re asking,” explained Google in a 2015 blog post. “We can now break down a query to understand the semantics of each piece so we can get at the intent behind the entire question. That lets us traverse the Knowledge Graph much more reliably to find the right facts and compose a useful answer. And we can build on this base to answer harder questions.”
Find parking with Google Maps
And right in concert with the improved search tricks Google has also started updating Google Maps to show users how to find parking near the destination to which they are navigating.
Sure, you use the app all the time often without even realizing or thinking about it but digital marketeers also need to think of Google Maps as search engine.
Digital marketeers shouldn’t neglect the opportunity Google Maps offers to guide customers directly to a place of business or a nonprofit organization which is dependent, one way or the other, on its location serving its overall mission.
Think of the many ways, as a consumer, you use Google Maps. Into your smartphone you ask, “where is the nearest coffee shop?”
What comes back in the search results? Yep, sure, a listing. But also a map, Google Map, from which you can also, then, pick a spot and navigate to it with step-by-step directions.
As a business owner-marketeer, you need to think of how you use search in that way and adapt your business or organization’s online map presence to match, respond to those search queries.
And, no, we don’t usually think of Google Maps as part of the digital marketing effort but Google Maps is also a huge search engine, connected of course to the biggest search engine in the world. If the location of your business or organization is important to your success, you can’t really afford to ignore Google Maps. You need to be there.