As reported in Search Engine Journal, Google has started grouping related news articles together in carousels using BERT and other machine learning tools.
The carousels will appear in the “top stories” section at the top of the SERPs, and are designed to help searchers to choose easily from related news articles on trending stories.
Google’s Duncan Osborn explained that:
“When you’re searching for information on a timely topic–a recent sports upset or the latest scientific breakthrough–you see a carousel of articles at the top of your Search results highlighting relevant news. Now, when there are multiple stories related to your search, we’ll also organize the results by story so it’s easier to understand what’s most relevant and you can make a more informed decision on which specific articles to explore.”
The top stories carousels will also serve up other related content to give readers more context to the story.
It isn’t always easy for searchers to navigate the search results to find the most relevant and helpful articles.
Clustering results into clearly defined topics in this way should make it easier, and are part of Google’s “longer-term effort to expand the types of journalistic contributions we highlight to users in Search”.
Will this help to drive more traffic to publisher sites?
Google have stated that they want to surface more sources and highlight original reporting, so it looks promising.