Google Search is trying to offer a wider perspective for users with its new “Full Coverage” feature.
You might have already spotted the Full Coverage option in your Google News feed, but now this service is going to be available when you use Google Search to look for terms related to developing news stories, starting in U.S. English.
You’ll now notice a multi-colored button beneath the carousel of cards at the top of the search page, and on the final card if you scroll through all the top stories. Clicking this button will show you multiple news outlets’ write-ups of the same topic, judged to be related by Google’s algorithm. This will allow you to more easily see how a story has developed over time, or to find explainer articles or more local stories.
If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because Google brought this feature to Google News in 2018, and has been promising to implement it in Search since 2019. Yep, it’s been a long time coming.
This feature is designed specifically for long-running stories, rather than one-off events. In the blog explaining the feature, Google News product manager Itamar Snir gives the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Presidential Election or Super Bowl coverage as examples of topics that would get the Full Coverage treatment.
Google claims that all users searching for the same thing will get the same set of Full Coverage stories. That’s good news if you’re concerned about getting a wider picture of different viewpoints and opinions on that topic, rather than getting the same handful of sites’ opinions over and over.
If you’re outside the U.S. and/or don’t speak English, you’ll be getting this feature “in the coming months” according to Google. So while our U.K. readers have also been awaiting Full Coverage to arrive for years, they may have to wait a bit longer still.