Google Keen: Your Guide to Google’s New AI Content Board

Google has had a lot of interesting projects that failed. Some died in the cusp of the consumer domain (Nexus, Inbox) while others were slowly beaten away by better products from other vendors (Google Reader, Google Talk).

And so, here we are in 2020 with Keen, an experimental web and Android app that wants to bring more high-quality relevant content to your life. 

Here’s how it works:

You create a “Keen” with one or two keywords of your interests. Keen then automatically retrieves content from multiple sources and serves it within the “Keen”.

Unlike a search engine, which waits for a query, Keen actively searches for you to find content it thinks you’ll want to consume.

The value of Keen is machine-learning and topic clustering. It is always on the lookout for quality content related to your interests.

The more you save to your “Keens”, and the more you organise them, the better the content recommendations are.

For the user, Keen is an easy way to find great content. It automates the process of finding things to read that you care about.  

I’ve heard of something like this before…

Those of you with a Google Pixel phone or tablet will have something called “Google Feed” (it’s accessed by swiping left on your home screen). It’s a personalized news stream based on your search and browsing history, using cookies to deliver content.

There’s also a news app called ‘Google News’. This is an excellent aggregator app that curates content from hundreds of sources with a ‘For You’ section and the ability to create a ‘Newsstand’ and follow different sources.

Keen is different because it asks you to select the topics you’re interested in and will deliver only highly relevant content to your “Keens”. It clusters topics to keep everything organised, so you can get the latest content on one topic.

For example, you might create a ‘coronavirus’ Keen or an iPhone Keen to stay up to date with these developments. All your news, articles, guides, tutorials etc. on those topics will be organised in their own Keens with no surprises.

But here’s the kicker – Keens can be made shareable with other Google users. You can share a Keen with anyone else with a Google Account. So, for example, you can create arts and crafts keens with friends.

How many times have you emailed a link to someone or saved an article to share later? By saving a result to a shared Keen, the shared person can access it anytime.

Better still, you’ll get loads more relevant content suggestions about what you saved as Keen’s machine-learning boots into action to find you relevant content. It’s all completely automated to make finding great content easy.

How can webmasters capitalise on it?

Keen mixes content curation with user personalisation. Every time a user saves a content suggestion to a Keen, they get more relevant recommendations.

This is an exciting new way for people to discover your content.

However, like Google search, Keen will only recommend what it deems to be “high-quality” content. But what is high-quality content?

High quality content is:

  • 100% unique
  • Well-written
  • Useful and informative
  • Authoritative
  • Credible
  • Written for human beings

The criterion is simple: high-quality content has a purpose and gets shared. It should be well-written (use Grammarly if you have to) and split up with headings to make it easy to read. It should be concise and written for people.

Other than focussing on the quality of your content and making sure it gets indexed by Google, we know little about Keen so far. Stay tuned for more updates as we get to grips with it (if there’s anything to get to grips with!).

Read Google’s announcement here:

Want to Share Your Passion with the World? Get Keen


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