Google has announced a change that lets searchers find a little bit more information about the source of a link in the search results before they actually click through to it. This new feature intended to help searchers decide if a site contains the type of information or credibility they are looking for before clicking through to the landing page.
For example, here's what it looks like for Search Engine Watch:
Google made the change for sites that they feel are widely recognized as being a notable resource, whenever there is enough information to show the searcher or when they feel the content would be “handy” for the individual searcher.
The information Google displays is actually information coming from Google’s Knowledge Graph. Searchers can learn things such as anything known about the site’s ownership or creation date, awards it has won, and the type of site it is (e.g., if it is a wiki site or nonprofit organization).
The information will show up on the same line that Google displays the listing’s URL in the search results. If there is more info available, there will be the name of the site or company written in gray lettering with a triangle next to it. Click the name or triangle and you will see the more detailed information about the site will be displayed in a pop-up.
It is unknown how many sites are displaying this extra information, but many searches show a pretty high percentage of sites with this information being displayed. Google is also planning to expand this program and the Knowledge Graph.
This change will probably bring a lot of mixed reactions from the SEO community, considering site owners will really have no control over whether this extra annotation appears next to their site. Will sites with this annotation get higher click through? Or will the searcher click that link to get more information, the site is not what they want, and then end up clicking on it a different result entirely? Or will searchers not even notice?
What do you think of Google's new feature?
The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Register today!