Many Google features are being used every day by everyone who has an Android phone and by those who use Google apps and services on the iPhone. However, some of these features are not known by many. One such feature is Google Discover feed which is used unknowingly by everyone and if we were to know a little about it, then perhaps we could customise it to serve our needs better rather the Google’s.
So, What Is the Secret Feature – Google Discover Feed?
Google Discover is the secret tool of the Google app which collects information about the user interests and history. This is not a secret that the ads, web pages, recommendations that we see while browsing are different for everyone as they are customised to grab the attention of the current user. Although Google uses all its products to leverage information about you, Google Discover Feed was specially designed for this purpose.
How Does Google Discover Work?
Well, Google Discover scans all the google products you use, especially Gmail and Google Calendar, along with your current location history and YouTube. These apps provide complete information about your planned events and their dates, and based on what you watch on YouTube and your location, it also highlights local events that might suit your interest.
Is Google Discover a new product? Well, it has been rechristened recently, but this Google product exists from a decade and was earlier known as Google Now. It used to display information in the form of snippets or cards and would access your email. It was of a great help earlier as users did not have to open their emails for bits of information and would use Google cards instead for reminders, appointments, package tracking and even boarding passes. Over time, Google never stopped using this product but only changed its name to Google Discover.
How To Find The Secret Google Discover Feed?
It seems that the secret feature of Google is not a secret at all and was always in front of your eyes, but most of us did not know what it was called. The Google app is a default feature on every Android smartphone, and for those using Google on Apple products can also find it readily available. Open the Google App, and the Google Discover will be right on the screen as it is always enabled by default.
The Google Discover feed consists of a search bar on the top and small boxes with the latest information in the form of an article that might interest you. The articles might be of your choice and liking up to a great extent as they have been selected by Google’s Artificial Intelligence program. The AI decided to show these precise files only after analysing the data provided by Google Discover based on your history and what you have a search or watched recently.
On the bottom of this screen, there will another bar which includes some options and settings like:
Discover: This is the first option which is the Google Discover itself.
Updates: This provides you with important updates and notifications about any upcoming events. It also includes the Google Assistant with a voice option.
Search: This displays the recent searches done on your smartphone.
Collections: This page has a collection of your Favourite Pages, Favourite Images and Favourite Places bundled together.
More: The final tab is a list of settings like Search Activity, Recent, Customise Widget, Settings, and Help etc.
If you do not have the Google App or have deleted it by mistake, then you can download it again from the below link.
How to Customize the Google Discover Feed?
Google’s AI does a remarkable job to analysing your searches and visits and brings about similar exciting articles for you read. However, no matter how smart Artificial Intelligence might be, it is still a machine and works on calculations and algorithms. The feeling or emotional element is completely missing from a machine. Let me explain with an example; if one fine day, your search for a famous actor and his movies, Google discover will start presenting all the current news about that actor as snippets or boxes, thinking you are interested.
To train Google’s AI or customize the Google Discover in your smartphone, we have to provide feedback and alter a few settings. Here are some steps that you can take to get the best results from Google Discover:
1) Provide Feedback OnGoogle Discover Snippets
Every Google Discover feed card has three dots on the bottom right. Tap on those dots and select an option from the context menu. The options would include positive, negative and neutral responses for that particular snippet. This way, providing feedback on every snippet will train the AI slowly as what category of news you want to see or avoid. The options listed would be similar to:
- + Follow. Tap on this option to subscribe to a topic.
- Hide this Story. This story will disappear from the list.
- Not interested in “Something/Someone”. Google Discover will stop showing you articles about a specific product or person, highlighted in the article you have tapped on.
- Don’t show stories from “Website Name”. Google Discover will stop showing articles from this website.
- Manage Interests. You can view all the information that Google has collected about you and customize it. You can unfollow some of the topics so that you don’t see them again.
- Report Content. Send an immediate and quick report by choosing one of the options, to Google describing the nature of the content displayed and the expressing dissatisfaction over the content displayed.
- Send Feedback. This would send an email to Google, highlighting the exact nature of your complaint with a detailed description.
2) Manage Interests
Although Manage Interests is included above, but it is quite vast, therefore described separately. When you click on Manage Interests, you get two options: Your Interests & Hidden Interests. Under Your Interests, you can customize the topics or places that you are following. It also shows keywords based on your activity which you can follow or hide as per your discretion. Click the + to follow the topic and – to hide it.
The second option is Hidden Interests, which contains a list of topics that have been detected in your search history, but those are the ones that you have decided not to follow. If you find a topic that has been mistakenly hidden, then you can unhide it from here. There are other options as well, which are quite self-explanatory and you can try out by yourself.
You can also visit your Google Activity History from the browser on your computer and check your settings and search history.
How To Avoid Google Discover Feed From Storing Any Information?
Google has been kind enough to provide options which disables storing any search and browsing history. This way, the results displayed will always be unbiased, and Google Discover will of no use at all. This can be done temporarily for some particular searches which you do not want to reflect in your history or a permanent action which means Google Discover will be disabled.
Use Incognito Mode or Private Browsing – Temporary Way
Customised searches are beneficial in a way that they help us to display interesting articles that meet out choices and interests. So if you want to keep Google Discover feed active in your computer but want it to skip a few searches that you make then use Incognito Mode. This mode is also called private browsing mode, which does not store any record of the current session.
Disable Google Discover Feed – Permanent Way
If you have decided to get rid of Google Discover and maintain your privacy, then it is your Right and perfectly fine. Here are the steps to disable Google Discover Feed for good:
Step 1. Open Google App and click on More located at the bottom right corner on the bar.
Step 2. Choose Settings from the list and then tap on General.
Step 3. Now locate Discover and turn the slider off to disable Google Discover feed.
Step 4. Exit the app, and now you will not get any customised searches or snippets. You can, of course, turn Google Discover feed on anytime you want by following these same steps.
Did You Manage Your Google Discover Feed?
I hope you know now the facts about how the content is being managed on your system. It is up to you on how you decide to manage it. You can disable Google Discover Feed permanently or exclude some searches from it. The best part is you can control and manipulate the Google Discover feed to suit your interests and show results as per your discretion.
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