Google adds activity cards to users’ browsing history

14/01/2019

Google is making it easier for users to continue their old searches by adding activity cards.

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Activity cards are designed around the idea that searching — especially on mobile — is often a disjointed experience due to time constraints or other interruptions.

At times, a user might leave open a browser tab in the background intending to return, but just start a new search in the future.

To help “pick up where you left off,” Google designed activity cards to continue a user’s “search journey.”

When users perform a similar search, a “Your related activity” card might appear before the list of results. Tapping will show a list of articles you have clicked on in the past as part of a previous query. Below that list, old searches are shown in a carousel that users can tap to reopen.

Users have to be logged into their Google account for history to appear, with Google noting how “only you can see these.” Heading to the overflow menu in the top-right corner will allow users to turn off activity cards, and manage other Search settings.

"If you're logged into your Google account and search for topics and hobbies like cooking, interior design, fashion, skincare and beauty, fitness, photography and more, you may find an activity card at the top of the results page that provides easy ways to continue your exploration," Andrew Moore, Google's product manager for search, said Thursday in a blog post.

A link can be deleted or activity cards can be turned off completely by tapping the three-dot icon at the top right.

It'll start rolling out Thursday on mobile web and on the English version of the Google app in the US. We've asked Google about a wider rollout on the app, but it didn't reveal any plans.

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