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Google has launched a feature for its search results snippets that show more information about a search result. We saw Google testing this back in 2019 and in 2020 and has decided to launch it in BETA mode for now.
This is a feature where you click on the three dots in the search result snippet and Google shows you more information “about this result.” It can show you information about the site from Wikipedia, if it is available. It can show you if the site is secure, it can show you if it is an organic or paid listing and even more. Google said “when available, you’ll see a description of the website from Wikipedia, which provides free, reliable information about tens of millions of sites on the web. 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 a specific website does not have a Wikipedia description, Google will show the searcher additional context that may be available, such as when Google first indexed the site.
This is now rolling out in English in the U.S. on desktop, mobile web and the Google App on Android.
OK, I’m seeing the new “about this” feature in the SERPs already. Here are two examples for desktop and mobile. The first (Amazon) has the Wikipedia info and link, the other (Consumer Reports) has info about when it was first indexed. pic.twitter.com/SbiVZ1MxWg
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) February 1, 2021
I highly doubt this feature will be used that much. So I asked Paul Haahr, a Google engineer who has been with the Google Search team for longer than most, and he said “Affordances for finding a feature can change over time to improve the user experience, but it probably shouldn’t be too “in your face” either.” So maybe Google will tweak it over time to get more searchers to notice it?
Affordances for finding a feature can change over time to improve the user experience, but it probably shouldn’t be too “in your face” either.
— Paul Haahr (@haahr) February 1, 2021
Forum discussion at Twitter.