Google today announced it is launching a new feature that tries to help you rephrase your query when the search engine cannot find relevant results on the web. Google said it is rolling out in the U.S. today “a new message that lets you know when Google hasn’t been able to find anything that matches your search particularly well.”
Who will see this. Google said you are unlikely to see this message because for most queries, Google does hope to give you great search results. But for a “fairly small proportion of queries,” a Google spokesperson told us, you may see this message come up. The message will give you advice on how to change your query to find better results.
What it looks like. Here is a screenshot of the message, which reads “it looks like there aren’t any great matches for your search.” It then gives you tips and advice on how to retry your search:
More results. Google did test this last November, but in those tests, Google made you click to see more search results. In the launched version of this feature, Google will show you search results — although not great results — below this box. “While you can still go through the results to see for yourself if they’re helpful, the message is a signal that we probably haven’t found what you’re looking for,” Google said.
COVID-19 help. This may turn out to be helpful for the spike in COVID-19-related searches. As information and advice around COVID-19 is changing all the time, search results may not be available. That is one of the reasons Google expanded the question hub to the U.S. Now, here is another feature that can help searchers find better results for COVID-19-related queries.
Why we care. If you see this box come up for any of your customers’ keyword phrases, in their analytics, in their performance reports and in their keyword lists, you may want to rethink your strategy for those keywords. Maybe you need to build out more content around the query, maybe you need to see if those searching for those keywords are converting on your site. There may be opportunities for you here as SEOs.