Will Google’s launch of the full coverage feature in mobile search make any difference?

The question as asked in the title, is phrased in such a way, because the concept of full coverage is not an entirely new feature – it is simply just a new feature to mobile search.

What is the full coverage feature about?

For those of you that have never heard about it before, full coverage relates to news and developing news stories. The idea is to give a searcher access to a broad range of views, opinions and publishers regarding a developing or breaking news story. As already mentioned, this is not an entirely new concept, and was first presented in 2018, but its use was restricted to The Google News site and app only. The idea behind it is a piece of technology which takes account of people, places and themes of a news story to combine this together in a full coverage (hence the name) feature. This is designed to give the user a balanced, rounded and informative account of a developing news story.

full coverage visual example

Now it has rolled out to mobile search, what are the differences to look for?

Whether this will make any substantial difference beyond what it already has when it first launched remains to be seen. Some of the things to specifically look out for with respect to impact on mobile search include:

* Will there now be greater traffic volumes to news sites? – perhaps the most obvious question.

* Will there be a change of relationship between editors and SEO, given that this feature is now thrust into everyday searching?

* Will there be a change in the way news is presented, taking account of SEO and content factors?

Specifics in detail

Now the full coverage feature has rolled out into mobile search, there are some additional features which users will start to discover. Users will be able to click on a “more news on [topic]” feature, which will open to show top stories, local news, and general explanatory articles. These will all relate to the news subject in question. The user will now have access to a wealth of further information and opinion.

Will it actually make much difference?

Some are already of the opinion that the rollout of this feature can only be a good thing, because it allows the searcher to have access to diverse and balanced information, thus promoting the excellence of trusted content. It is because of this that Google are allowing smaller publishers or those with alternative views to gain an audience and traffic, when this might not have necessarily been the case with the big news corporations or players.

Some are not totally in favour of the roll out to mobile search however. Whilst they have acknowledged the points above, they believe that this won’t fundamentally change anything, because the “top stories” box is the one where most clicks happen anyway and this feature will not change that. There is also the idea that whilst it will have benefits for some publishers or authors, this will be at the expense of taking that advantage away from somewhere or someone else.

Deep down the introduction of this feature in mobile search can be seen as something of an attempt to level the playing field when it comes to news content. Whether this is just a mere restructure that looks good on the face but doesn’t have much difference underneath will remain to be seen!

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