Google is surfacing more information about domains in search results, helping searchers learn about sources without conducting multiple queries.
An update to Google Search, rolling out today, adds a new three-dot icon to the top right corner of search snippets.
Tapping on the icon will pull up a card from the bottom of the screen with additional pieces of information about the search result.
The new “about this result” cards include the following information:
- Description of the domain
- Whether the domain is secure
- The full URL of the search result
- Whether the result is organic or an advertisement
In addition, the cards offer users quick access to their privacy settings and a link to a video on how search works.
Here’s an example of a different version of one of these cards where the source is an automated feed, such as job listings.
Google says most, but not all, search results will have one of these cards. It depends on whether the domain has a Wikipedia entry associated with it.
Google is sourcing all information about domains from Wikipedia, which means there’s no on-site optimization methods that can be used to assist Google with filling out these cards.
“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.”
Google’s reliance on Wikipedia levels the playing field in a way, but it excludes many smaller sites that do not have their own Wikipedia entries.
Google may show additional context in the event that a Wikipedia descriptions is not available, such as when the site was first indexed.
With this update Google aims to help searchers make more informed decisions about what sites they want to visit.
In typical Google fashion, all the added context about sites is presented without the need for searchers to visit the site themselves.
Whether that’s good or bad is a matter of perspective. On one hand it gives searchers information they need even faster. On the other hand it may impact traffic in a way that’s yet undetermined.
At least Google is not giving away any additional on-page content in the SERPs. Information included in the new cards is specific to the domain itself.
Again, there’s nothing for site owners to do in order to trigger one of these cards in search results. If Google has enough context about a domain then the cards will be added automatically.
This update is rolling out today in English in the US on desktop, mobile, and the Google app on iOS and Android.
Google is rolling this out first as a beta. The company says it’s done a lot of user testing to understand if people find this feature useful, and will continue to iterate once it has launched. Expect this feature to evolve over time.