Search at Google I/O 2021

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Google I/O is our annual developer festival, and this year it was all virtual. But as with any events, virtual, or in-person, a lot of information was covered over the three-day event. In case you missed it, here is a list of some Search-related news and announcements that might be of interest to you.

Google I/O 2021 Keynote

The keynote covered how Google aims to be helpful in moments that matter. Sundar announced a new product development milestone called Multitask Unified Models (MUM), which builds on open, existing AI architectures to solve complex info challenges. MUM is able to cross-train across many languages and tasks to better understand information. Advances in this area will help us better understand queries as well as pages on the web. These changes are not live yet, and you don’t need to make any updates on your website for this. Other Search features that are next on the horizon include Google Lens, AR in Search, and About this Result.

For SEOs and developers, a good place to start is our What's new in Search video. In this talk, you’ll hear about two new schema markups available for video content. Clip markup is now available to any site with videos, and SeekToAction markup is in beta. These markups can enable Google to display key moments for your videos in Search.

To help developers prepare for the upcoming ranking change, we hosted a Page Experience technical session, including an announcement for how we're using page experience for desktop Google Search results.

During one of the meetups, Google announced Follow on Chrome Canary in the US. Follow is an experimental feature designed to allow people to follow the websites they care about, from large publishers to small neighborhood blogs, by tapping a Follow button in Chrome. This meetup covered audience engagement and following publisher websites across the web. There was a discussion about the feature Google has been developing in this space with the web publisher and developer community.

We also hosted several sessions about Core Web Vitals:

To learn more about how to create more modern content on the web, check out Immersive storytelling on the web.

Google I/O Adventure

Although virtual, there were opportunities to mingle with other SEOs during the event. There was a Search area in the Web dome on I/O Adventure. In addition, we also hosted Technical SEO show and tells and meetups, and it was nice to see people from all over the world attend these networking and Q&A sessions hosted by Martin Splitt.