Google Search has released more tools and features to help users evaluate and trust the information they are searching for online. Below are some of the key updates released by Google this month.
‘About this result’ feature
Google’s new ‘About this result’ feature helps users to evaluate the information they find on Google and understand where its coming from. Now, when users are searching, they’ll see three dots next to most search results. Tap on the three dots to learn more about where the information is coming from and how Google’s systems determined it would be useful for a query. This new tool is aimed at providing users with a more informed decision about the sites they want to visit and the results that are more helpful to them.
A second new feature released by Google is ‘Perspectives’. This new feature forms part of Google’s ongoing work to bring more voices into Search that give users context on what matters most to them. The perspective carousel will appear below Top Stories and will showcase insights from a range of journalists, experts, and other relevant voices on the topic being searched for. A variety of noteworthy voices on a news topic will complement the trustworthy reporting already found on Search to help broaden user’s understanding.
‘About this author’ feature
This feature will form part of the About this result to enable users to easily learn more about the authors behind the content they are reading. Users can tap on the three dots to find more information about the background and experience of the voices on Google Search.
Easier access to About this
Google has created easier access for users searching for the source and topic of a particular page. Now you can type in the URL of an organisation into Google Search and information from About this page will populate at the top of Search. This enables users to quickly see how the website describes itself, what others on the web have said about a site and any recent coverage of it, so you can quickly evaluate if you want to visit the website and learn more.
Information literacy and fact-checking
Google is partnering with MediaWise to expand their Teen Fact-Checking Network, a volunteer program made up of middle and high schoolers who debunk viral misinformation and share media literacy tips. In addition, a new Global Fact Check Fund worth $13.2 million (Google and YouTube’s single largest grant in fact-checking) has opened. The Fund will support more than 130 fact-checking organisations from 65 countries covering over 80 languages and will work to address misinformation in Google Search.
Ads Transparency Centre update
Google is finally allowing users to see more information about the advertisers behind the ads seen across Search, YouTube and other sites. The searchable hub will provide information about the types of ads an advertiser has shown in the past, the regions it has appeared in, and the last date and format in which it ran an ad. To search for specific ads, users can visit the Transparency Centre directly or select the three dots menu that appears beside the ad. Google says it plans on launching the Ads Transparency Center globally “over the coming weeks.”
Why does this matter?
We’ve been waiting a long time for these latest Google updates to be released. Despite Google introducing the My Ad Centre last year, no information has been provided about specific advertisers and their ads until now. In comparison, Meta has been operating a similar feature since 2019 and Twitter since 2018.
With the continuing threat that AI poses on Google Search, the tech giant is clearly doing all it can to reassure users that Search remains one of the most trustworthy platforms on the web. We are eagerly awaiting Google’s next move.Author spike.digital