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Google Search and Assistant will soon offer helpful ‘how-to’ instructions

In modern life, if you don’t know how to do something, the usual first step is to Google it. To make this workflow smoother, Google has announced at I/O 2019 that both the Assistant and Google Search will start including useful “how-to” steps in your results.

In the coming weeks, searching for things like “how to tie a tie” on your Assistant Smart Display or on Google Search for mobile will show a new style of instructional results. The experience is very similar to using the Google Assistant for help with a recipe.

With these new how-to results, Google Search and Google Assistant will take you step by step through various tasks, complete with text, images, and video, all sourced directly from the web. Most helpfully, videos will skip ahead to the correct timestamp of the step you’re currently on.

In a demonstration, Google showed how-to examples from the DIY Network website and the REI YouTube channel showing up through the Google Assistant.

Google Search How-To

These new results will come from publishers that choose to use the relatively new “HowTo” markup on their website. This markup lets services like Google know when a page or video contains a how-to.

Web developers who wish to get started with getting their how-to content discovered by Google can check out the official documentation. And for video-only content, Google has provided a simple template for adding the various steps and timestamps to YouTube videos using the HowTo markup.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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