Google’s looking to help users get a better understanding of the websites displayed in its search results by adding new informational panels accessible on all listed site matches in SERPs.
As you can see here, by tapping on the three dots at the top right of any search result, you’ll now be able to access information about that site, sourced from Google itself and Wikipedia.
As explained by Google:
“Starting today, next to most results on Google, you’ll begin to see a menu icon that you can tap to learn more about the result or feature and where the information is coming from. With this additional context, you can make a more informed decision about the sites you may want to visit and what results will be most useful for you.”
Google says that this additional information can provide extra “context or peace of mind, especially if you’re looking for something important, like health or financial information”. The listings will also include when Google initially indexed the page and whether it has HTTPS enabled.
Google’s also looking to provide extra info on other surfaces like job listings or local business listings.
“[For these listings] you’ll see a description about how Google sources that information from sites on the web, or from businesses themselves, and presents it in a helpful format.”
It’s an interesting addition, and part of the broader push to add more contextual information across the web, giving users more ways to verify and check information to ensure they feel confident in the data they’re accessing.
Of course, that’s only effective if people actually check the extra info, and you would assume that many won’t. But by providing the tools, and educating users on their options, Google’s doing what it can to help improve digital literacy, and keep people better informed, where possible.
For website owners, that could mean that you’ll want to re-check your results, and see what these panels say about your business. Given that they’re not upfront, like Apple’s planned IDFA updates, you would expect that their relative impact would be minimal, but still, you’ll no doubt want to ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward in all aspects of search results, which will include this additional contextial information.
Google says that it will begin rolling out the feature to US users from today, on desktop, mobile web and the Google App on Android.