Google has announced a new feature in the search results which will enable searchers to quickly see more about the result listing and where the information is coming from before they go on to visit the site.
The feature provides additional clarification regarding the reliability of the source - something that is particularly important in the era of fake news and the current pandemic. Clicking on 3 dots to the right of the result will bring up a description of the site from Wikipedia.
Here it is in action.
“Based on Wikipedia’s open editing model, which relies on thousands of global volunteers to add content, these descriptions will provide the most up-to-date verified and sourced information available on Wikipedia about the site. If it’s a site you haven’t heard of before, that additional information can give you context or peace of mind, especially if you’re looking for something important, like health or financial information.”
If there’s no Wikipedia description available for the site, Google will display “additional context that may be available, such as when Google first indexed the site”.
Google will show you whether your connection to the site is secure or not, based on use of HTTPS, and whether the search listing is organic or paid.
Where Google organizes the information, such as jobs or local business listings, it will show a description about “how Google sources that information from sites on the web, or from businesses themselves”. Here it is for job listings.
The “About this result” panel also has links for feedback and privacy settings.
It remains to be seen to see what, if any, impact this has on traffic, but it’s worth making sure the information which appears about your site is correct. Using Wikipedia as a source means if something is incorrect you need to take this up with Wikipedia, not Google.
Google began rolling out the feature on 1 Feb in English in the US, on desktop, mobile web and the Google App on Android.