As COVID-19 has become something we’re learning to live with, Google is announcing new changes to how it handles information about the pandemic in Search. These adjustments include easier results for at home COVID tests.
At home COVID tests – Google makes it easy to find them
In a blog post today, Google highlighted that it’s making it easier to find at home COVID tests in particular through Search, rather than just testing sites. If you search for “COVID test,” you’ll now see more results about at home testing options, including where you can obtain free tests if they’re available where you live. Results will include where to buy tests online as well as where to buy them from local stores.
Google says this new functionality is available only in the United States for now.
This change to show at home COVID tests comes as the US has largely moved to private testing options to verify infection, with large-scale testing no longer being as common in most areas. That’s despite the rise of newer variants, which have caused spikes in infection rates.
In May 2022, Google says Search interest in “at home COVID tests” jumped by 170% as those tests became more widely available. That’s also around the time the US Government made free at home tests available. Search directly promotes those free tests with a prominent banner, as pictured below.
So starting this month in the U.S., people can more easily find at-home COVID test kits on Google Search. With a quick Search, you can quickly see at-home testing kits available in stores, and nearby testing information provided by local health authorities.
Google Search continues to makes it easy to find COVID resources
This latest move, of course, is far from the first thing Google has done to help people make their way through the pandemic.
As travel has opened up, Google has shown notices and requirements for destinations when searching for flights and other means of transport. Google also made finding a COVID-19 vaccine easy when shots first became available in 2021 and continues to do so now. On Android, Google has also made it relatively easy to carry vaccination records on your phone in a growing number of countries.
And, in an effort to battle misinformation around COVID, Google has continually surfaced information from reputable sources and organizations such as the CDC and WHO.
More on COVID-19:
- The Android ‘COVID Card’ vaccination record is available in these countries
- Google Doodle promotes COVID-19 prevention w/ masks and vaccinations
- Google employees will return en masse to Bay Area offices starting in April
Author: Ben Schoon