Google is tweaking how searches listed in its search engine work and improving Touch to Search in the Chrome mobile app.
Searching with quotes refers to when you put quotes around a search term and Google returns results that have those exact words. The problem with the old style was that Google Search results didn’t show where the term appeared on the page. You had to do some digging. But now, a small snippet will appear below the search results (opens in new tab), showing exactly where you can find your term in bold.
It looks like the update is already live. We entered a search term surrounded by quotes into Google Search and, sure enough, we got results with quotes showing the phrase.
Google Search Software Engineer Yonghao Jin explained in a blog post about the updates that the reason the snippet wasn’t added earlier is because some websites made it difficult to implement. A specific phrase may be behind a page menu or a different part of the site, so you need to take the time to find it. Despite this issue, Google decided to go ahead with the snippet update.
The snippet changes aren’t perfect or universal, Google admits. If a web page has the term mentioned multiple times, the snippet may not show all of them if they are [too] away from each other”. Bold terms will mostly be exclusive to Google Search for desktop. The announcement states that bold text will not appear in snippets found in certain search features such as Images or News, nor on mobile.
We asked Google what other Search variants have bold text in quotes. We’ll update this story if we hear back.
Chrome tweaks for mobile
As for Chrome mobile, it is The Tap to Search feature got some new tweaks (opens in new tab).
Touch to Search allows users to highlight specific words or phrases for a quick search without having to leave the page. By updating Google Chrome on our mobile device, we can confirm that the update is complete.
The tool now has more granular control over how users interact with the feature. In Chrome’s Settings menu, you can turn on the “Include surrounding text in Google results” option, which will include the text around a highlighted word in a Google search for better results. Acceptable gestures have also been tweaked as Google says it recently standardized the process. Previously, you had to long press on a word to highlight it. Chrome now recognizes a single tap to highlight.
The announcement also revealed that Google is working on new Chrome features. one of which is adding suggestions based on the word or phrase you highlighted. If you highlight the word “San Francisco,” for example, you might see suggestions for “San Francisco Events” or “San Francisco Population.”
If you’re hungry for more Chrome news, we highly recommend checking out our story on Chrome 104. The update fixes a total of 27 security flaws, seven of which were deemed “high severity.”