Finding the best new flicks and shows just got easier, thanks to Google, which has quietly announced a way to improve suggestions surfaced by Google Search on mobile. Starting today in the U.S., when you type queries like “Good shows to watch” or “What to watch” in Search on your phone, you’ll see a start button in a “Top picks for you” carousel at the top of results, which you can click to begin rating TV shows and movies.
These ratings will improve the recommendations you see, says Google Search product manager Matt Sheets, as Google continues to expand its range of movie and TV Show interests. As before, tapping on any show or movie will reveal a list of providers offering the title to rent, buy, or watch.
“Everyone has a ‘movie mood.’ You might feel like a drama or documentary one night and the next day find yourself wanting something lighter,” wrote Sheets in a blog post. “Even when you’re hankering for something specific, like ‘horror movies from the 80s’ or ‘adventure documentaries about climbing,’ Search will give you options … We hope this helps you plan your next night on the couch, and if you’re looking for some inspiration, see which shows everyone else is searching for ahead of fall premieres.”
The new feature comes weeks after Google Images on mobile gained an upward swipe gesture that instantly opens webpages and after its desktop counterpart got a fresh coat of paint intended to make visualizing collections of apparel, flora, home goods, hairstyles, and more easier than before. In September, Images began showing captions with web page titles and related search terms, and the search algorithms underpinning it were retooled to prioritize web page authority, fresh content, and image placement. Separately, Google brought Google Lens, its visual search tool, to Images on the web.
Within Search, Google earlier this year rolled out a series of enhancements to AMP Stories, an open source library that enables publishers to build web-based, Snapchat-like flipbooks with slick graphics, animations, videos, and streaming audio. This summer saw the launch of a “dedicated placement” in Search for Stories in specific categories, like travel, along with components that let creators embed interactive content. (Categories like gaming, fashion, recipes, movies, and TV shows will come later in the year.) In a somewhat related development, late last year Google said it would begin using AI to generate Stories about celebrities, athletes, and other “notable people” and surface them in search results.