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Google Search Is Now Explaining Why You Were Shown Specific Results

Image via ReaLiia / Shutterstock.com

If the sort of results that show up in your Google search queries puzzles you, you can actually find out more by clicking on the three dots beside each link. The ‘About This Result’ feature was rolled out as early as February, and now, Google is offering more context by revealing why certain results are being displayed.

Previously, users expanding upon a result before clicking into the webpage would be able to discover a summary of the site, when it entered Google’s index, and if it’s encrypted, Fast Company shares. In an announcement published on Thursday, Google says it is adding a new section to the panel, called ‘Your Search & This Result’, to explain its side of the story: how its algorithm picks these results for you.

Naturally, content is displayed based on whether a page’s keywords match your search, but Google also looks around for related terms you might not have included in your query. For instance, if you look up “how to cook fish in the oven,” the search engine will additionally cull the web for pages with relevant terms, like “bake” and “recipe.”

Google says it also considers recommending pages linked up by other pages if they contain matching keywords. “It can also be a helpful indicator of whether online content creators tend to regard the page as useful for that topic,” explains Google product manager Elizabeth Tucker.

Finally, Google also takes note of how relevant a page might be locally, such as if the content uses your native language or is specific to your country and location. It finds that this would be helpful for users who need to find out location-varied details like “where can I get vaccinated?”

While ‘About this Result’ won’t affect search results moving forward, Google emphasizes the importance of providing transparency so users can find out ways to generate more accurate results. Tucker detailed in a press briefing, “The goal here really is to help people understand results and find results that are helpful for them.”

Google has already begun rolling out the section, but it should be widely phased in by next week.

Image via Google

Image via Google

Image via Google

[via Fast Company, images via various sources]
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