Here are 5 ways Google is improving Search in Africa

Eberechukwu Etike
Here are 5 ways Google is improving Search in Africa

As Google celebrates its 25th anniversary, it’s essential to acknowledge the significant impact this technology giant has had on the world, particularly in Africa. In this article, we will explore five crucial ways in which Google has been improving its search capabilities in Africa.

From delivering high-quality results to deciphering natural language queries, understanding images and videos, combating spam, and enhancing safety, Its commitment to enhancing the search experience is transforming the way Africans access information.

Read Also: Google appoints Alex Okosi as new Managing Director for Africa

Then & Now- 5 ways Google is improving Search in Africa

Delivering High-Quality Results

Google’s commitment to delivering quality search results has been at the forefront since its inception. The search giant employs sophisticated algorithms, such as the PageRank algorithm, which not only considers keyword relevance but also analyzes the interlinking structure of websites to determine the importance and authority of pages.

Here are 5 ways Google is improving Search in Africa

In response to the rise of misinformation, the tech giant has developed techniques to identify topics prone to unreliable content, like conspiracy theories or medical misinformation, and prioritizing authoritative sources in such instances.

We do hundreds of thousands of quality evaluations every year to make sure we’re meeting our
high bar for quality. We’ll regularly make broad updates to our systems, called core updates, as
well as more specialized updates, like our helpful content update, to continue to deliver useful
,” Google told Technext in a statement.

Regular quality evaluations and updates, including core updates and specialized updates, ensure that Google Search continues to provide valuable and reliable results.

It also addresses information gaps by providing notices when results may lack confidence or when topics are rapidly evolving. It also offers information literacy tools to help users evaluate what they find.

Deciphering Meaning

Understanding the meaning behind users’ queries is a crucial aspect of Google’s search engine. Initially, simple word matching was the foundation, but Google’s systems have evolved significantly.

Here are 5 ways Google is improving Search in Africa

At the time, if you spelled something incorrectly, you’d only find pages that spelled the word wrong, too! So we built our first machine learning system in Search to tackle this challenge. Over the years, our systems became much more sophisticated, understanding synonyms and the context of words better,” Google said.

Breakthroughs like the Knowledge Graph have enabled Google to understand how different entities relate to each other, allowing for more precise and intuitive search results. Also, with the advent of large language models like BERT, Google has made tremendous strides in deciphering natural language queries across various languages spoken in Africa.

Additionally, the tech giant has built tools like Google Translate, and this has broken down language barriers, ensuring that users can access information in their preferred language. The integration of generative AI technology and large language models holds the potential to transform the search experience further, and Google is actively exploring its possibilities through Search Labs.

Understanding Images and Videos
Here are 5 ways Google is improving Search in Africa

The world is not solely composed of text-based information, and Google recognizes this. With advancements in natural language processing, Google introduced voice search, making it easier for Africans to search using their voice on mobile devices.

By applying the latest developments in natural language processing (NLP), in 2008 we launched the ability to search with your voice, making it more natural to search on mobile. Then, we took voice input a step further with the ability to “hum to search,” for all those times when you have a tune stuck in your head but don’t know what lyrics to look up,” it said.

Furthermore, visual search capabilities, such as Google Lens, have revolutionized the way Africans explore the world around them. By simply capturing an image, users can obtain relevant information about objects, flora, fauna, or any other visual element they encounter.

Today, people do more than 12 billion visual searches every month with Lens.

Google’s multisearch feature allows users to combine text and visual input, enabling them to find similar items or expand their search based on images.

Spotting and stopping spam
Here are 5 ways Google is improving Search in Africa

Just as in email, spam is a persistent issue in the online world, including search engines. Google has implemented advanced systems and techniques to combat spam and ensure that search results remain relevant and reliable.

On Search, we’ve built advanced systems to fight spam in the same way. Without our advanced protections, search results would be clogged with completely irrelevant information, phishing attempts, and links to malware,” the company said.

Through continuous updates and the application of AI-powered spam detection, Google has achieved an impressive spam-free rate of over 99%. However, spammers constantly adapt, necessitating ongoing efforts to stay ahead and protect users from irrelevant, misleading, or malicious content.

Making Search safer
Here are 5 ways Google is improving Search in Africa

The search giant says it remains committed to maintaining a safe and inclusive search environment for its users in Africa. Striking a balance between information accessibility and user safety, Google has introduced measures to protect users from explicit content, exploitative practices, and the unwanted exposure of personal information.

We’ve approached this both through expanding our policy protections for people to remove
sensitive personal information from our results, and through improving our ranking systems with safety and inclusivity in mind.

By improving ranking algorithms, implementing default blurring of explicit imagery, and providing tools for individuals to manage their personal information, Google ensures that search results align with users’ preferences and safety requirements.

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