Algorithm Rolled Out: December 6, 2021

Algorithm Overview: Overall Gist

While not a standard algorithm change, Google overhauled the Top Stories look. It is breaking it into two columns on the desktop and (in many cases) drastically increasing the amount of SERP real estate occupied by news items.

Highlights Of The Update:

Google introduced a new Top Stories style on the desktop.

You may have noticed that appears slightly different while looking for news in the last few days. Google’s desktop website’s “Top stories” carousel has been updated with a new grid-based categorization system.

Instead of displaying “Top articles” as a list or carousel, Google now uses a grid. A 22 layout is used for lesser items, whereas larger cards, photos, and headlines are used for more significant issues.

The worldwide news sample below has seven pieces, each with a brief synopsis at the top. Meanwhile, the four-article grid serves as a technical illustration of a feature/update rollout.

When there are “many stories linked to your search,” Google claims it will “arrange results by narrative so it’s simpler to understand what’s most relevant.” This was initially offered to mobile Search in 2019 and is now available to desktop users worldwide.

To create these groupings, we study the connected articles and decide where one tale stops and another begins using a number of machine learning approaches, including BERT models. According to our study, grouping results into clearly defined storylines is crucial in assisting users in quickly navigating the results and identifying the best material for their requirements.

It’s similar to how Google News presents stories. And it helps separate Top stories from the standard list of ten blue links aesthetically.


If you search for “Football news,” you may get results categorised under the different news pieces “Latest Football Transfer” and “WC 2022 knocking on the door,” as well as extra results under “Also in the news.”

The Revamp Comes Two Years After The Last One

A Google spokesman confirmed that a new look for the Top stories section in the desktop version of its search results is currently being rolled out. The new style is consistent with the design efforts of the mobile Top stories area, which debuted around two years ago.

Google’s approval. A Google official verified that the new look is currently being rolled out internationally. “We’re continually trying to make it simpler for consumers to delve into the most valuable, timely content accessible through Search to help them acquire a better perspective of the world and the issues that matter most to them,” Google explained. “This newly announced feature is the desktop version of the Top stories experience, which is already available on mobile,” the search giant explained.

Google began rolling out this design over the weekend. Although it was tested on desktop as long ago as a year ago.

Updates To Google Search For ‘Top News Stories’

Instead of displaying “Top News Stories” as a list or carousel, Google now employs a grid. A 2X2 layout is used for small issues, whereas larger cards, photos, and headlines are used for more major news.

This sample of foreign news includes a brief synopsis at the top. For the time being, the four-article grid is limited to instances of integrating features/updates.

Top Stories Design Update
This is how the top stories look like on Google search

When Google discovers “more than one story related to your search,” the results will be structured to make it simpler to decide what is most relevant. This was launched to mobile users all around the world in 2019, and it is now being made available to PC users.

Examine linked articles to determine the beginning and end of each associated article; machine learning approaches, such as BERT models, are used to construct these groupings. The ability to group results into clearly defined narrative is critical. It is for aiding individuals in browsing results and choosing the most relevant material for their requirements.

The Top news stories widget aids in visually distinguishing Google News’ blue links from the standard list of items.

For example, if you search for “Instagram news,” you may see headlines like “Instagram boss meets US legislators over concerns about its influence on minors” and “Instagram Aims to Launch Chronological Feed Option in 2022: Adam Mosseri,” as well as those under “Also in the news.”

Why Do We Care?

Top articles may deliver a lot of Google Search traffic to publications. The new design may have an influence on that traffic; you may see more or less if you are featured in the huge picture box. Publishers should monitor their Google Search traffic to determine whether the new design has an effect on it.

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