Last May, Google launched a new events feature designed to help web searchers more easily find things to do nearby, while also challenging Facebook’s dominance in the local events space. Today, Google is updating event search with personalized event suggestions, and well as a new design that puts more event information directly in the search results.
When the feature first launched last year, Google said it was built in response to the millions of search queries the company saw daily for finding local events and activities.
However, it was also clearly an area where Google had ceded ground to Facebook. The social network said last fall that 100 million people were using Facebook Events on a daily basis, and 650 million were using it across the network. Those numbers have surely grown since.
The original design for Google’s events search offered web searchers a list of events they could filter by category and date. Meanwhile, the event listings themselves were powered by data from Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, SeatGeek, Meetup, Vividseats, Jambase, LiveNation, Burbio, Allevents.in, Bookmyshow.com, StubHub, Bandsintown, Yext and Eventful.
Now, Google is returning these event results in a new format — instead of more standard search results, they appear as cards, each with a little bookmark icon you can click on to save the event details for future reference.
In addition, when you tap on one of the event listings’ cards, you’re directed to a more information-rich page, offering the date, time, location and shortcuts to save the event, buy tickets, get directions or share it with others. The design looks even more like a Facebook event page, albeit without a discussion section for posts and comments.
Clicking on the “Get tickets” button will pop up a window that links to ticket resellers for the event in question — like Ticketmaster or StubHub, for example.
As users continue use the system, it will be trained to know what sort of events users like.
Google tells us that for users who are signed in and have history turned on, it will provide customized recommendations based on their interests. People have control over their Search history and data via My Activity.
This data will be used to power the new personalized recommendations feature, found in the bottom navigation bar’s “For You” tab, which organizes suggested events by category, like “concerts,” “festivals,” “shows,” free events and more. This page also will show you trending and popular events in the area, if you need ideas.
The feature is not currently live for everyone, but is rolling out to mobile users over the next few days, says Google.