Chrome improves address bar accuracy with machine learning

Chrome 124 introduces improved address bar with machine learning for Mac, Windows, and ChromeOS. This update provides more relevant suggestions by incorporating user data into ranking and adapting over time.

Chrome improves address bar accuracy with machine learning
Image: 9to5google

Google Chrome 124 introduces an improved address bar, also known as the Omnibox, for Mac, Windows, and ChromeOS. This update leverages machine learning (ML) models to provide more precise and relevant suggestions to users.

Previously, Chrome relied on a set of static formulas to rank and suggest URLs. These formulas were limited in their ability to adapt to new user scenarios and browsing habits. The update replaces this system with an ML-based scoring model that can be continually refined and improved.

The new ML model allows Google to gather real-time user data and incorporate it into the ranking process. This enables the system to learn and adapt over time, resulting in more relevant suggestions for each user.

One example of the model's improvement involves the time since a user last visited a particular website. Previously, the system assumed that recently visited sites were more relevant. However, the ML model identified a user behavior where they might visit an incorrect URL and then immediately return to the Omnibox to try again. In these cases, the model lowers the relevance score of the recently visited URL for the subsequent search.

Looking ahead, Google plans to incorporate additional signals into the ML model, such as the time of day, to further enhance relevance. The company is also exploring the development of specialized models for different usage environments, including mobile, enterprise, and education.