Google is modifying its search results in an effort to improve media literacy for online users. The company is expanding the capabilities of its “About This Result” feature, launched earlier this year, to now also include information about the source itself, including its description from Wikipedia and what the site says about it – even, as well as news, reviews, and other context that can help people better assess unknown or new sources. It will also direct users to other information on the same topic, to direct users to other sources of information that may be related to the user’s original query.
The company introduced “About This Finding” in February in its English-language search results in the United States, along with a brief description from Wikipedia, if available, when the site first went live, and whether your connection to the website was secure, among other things.
He will update this panel with more details soon. Instead of just a description of the Wikipedia site, it will now also include what a website says about itself, in its own words. This information is taken directly from the website, when available. Often times, a site includes details about its authors, publishers, or purpose in an “about section” that introduces the website to new visitors. This information will now be extracted to enrich the “About Source” panel with more details.
Below that, Google will display the date the site first went live – information that could help users identify which websites have held up for a longer period of time, versus newcomers who may. have appeared more recently as part of a recent disinformation or propaganda campaign.
Image credits: Google
Google will also connect users to more information about the source itself, as indexed on the web. Here people can analyze what others are saying about the site in question, whether it is the media, reviews, trusted organizations like the Better Business Bureau, etc. This could help people know what sort of reputation the website has online, as documented by other sources.
The company specifies that this section of “others” will be based on Google’s open web results, which identify pages that may give you context on the website. Google also tries to prioritize useful results that are not created or controlled by the source website in order to provide independent insight, it says.
Additionally, Google will add an “About Topic” feature that will direct viewers to more information about their original query, including news coverage or other search results on the same topic. It might help people find out more about something that interests them. But it could also potentially prevent people from isolating themselves inside a so-called “filter bubble” – something that has become a major complication of the age of social media, where people aren’t. exposed to other sources of information as their favorite social platforms learn their preferences and then feed them further to drive engagement.
The updates were announced today by Danielle Romain, vice president of Google Trust, speaking at Google’s Search On live event.
The feature is not immediately available but will be rolled out in the “coming weeks” in English in the United States. Google says it is working to bring “About this result” to more countries in the future.