Google Search will offer better news coverage, and soon, support for podcast search

Google Search is getting an upgrade with better news coverage and now, podcast indexing. At the company’s developer conference, Google I/O, this morning, CEO Sundar Pichai kicked things off with an announcement that Google News’ “Full Coverage” feature, first launched last year, would now make its way directly to Google Search. Additionally, the exec said Google Search would begin indexing podcasts.

Google’s News vertical was updated last year with an AI-powered redesign, which included a “Full Coverage” feature to get a more holistic view of a news story.

“We use machine learning to identify different types of stories and give you a complete picture of our stories being reported from a wide variety of sources,” explained Pichai today. “It surfaces a breadth of content, but allows you to drill down into what interests you,” he said.

Google News today offers a view of all the different aspects of a story and a timeline of the events. Later this year, these features will come to Google Search, as well — not just the News vertical.

The more interesting news was glossed over, but is highly relevant to one of the most popular sources of news and information today: podcasts.

Google will begin to index podcasts so the engine can surface relevant episodes of a given program, based on the content, not just the title.

Plus, web searchers will be able to listen to the podcast right in Google’s Search results, or save an episode for later listening — like on their commute to work, for example.

The company didn’t spend much time on this announcement, so it’s unclear for now what this means for podcasters themselves. Today, they’re used to tracking listens through analytics programs that help them get a better idea of what podcast listeners engage with and respond to. It’s unclear if Google plans to offer any analytics service of its own as part of this change.

“These are all examples of how we are making search even more helpful for our users surfacing the right information in the right context,” said Pichai.