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Google Search results will proactively warn when ‘there aren’t any great matches’

Last October, Google significantly improved how Search understands queries asked in a natural, everyday manner. However, there are still scenarios when “there just isn’t information available on the web that matches what you typed in,” and Google Search will now proactively warn you when that’s the case.

Google’s systems can currently account for misspellings in your query, while the neural network-based BERT technique introduced last year finds relevant results “even if you don’t phrase something exactly as it’s written online.”

Despite these advancements, there are still occasions when Search doesn’t return links and answers that line up with what you’re looking for. In these cases, the following message will appear at the top of the feed: “It looks like there aren’t any great matches for your search.” It specifically appears when “Google hasn’t been able to find anything that matches your search particularly well.”

Even with this warning, the search engine will still display results, but Google wants to appropriately adjust your expectations before browsing. The company will provide tips like “Try using words that might appear on the page you’re looking for,” and link to others. There’s also a list of queries similar to your original that might yield better results.

This feature shouldn’t show up too often — after all, there’s usually something helpful we can find! But when it does, we hope it helps save you some time and gets you to the information you wanted more quickly.

This message will start rolling out to Google Search in the US today.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: