Google’s “About this Result” panel will show you why you got those search results
Google’s search results sometimes work in mysterious ways. Sometimes, you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for by using a vague search term. Other times, what you’re looking for might not show up even by using the most specific search terms you can come up with. No one outside of Google knows exactly how the search results are picked, but that’s intentional as the company’s search algorithm is a business secret. A little transparency would be nice, though. That’s why Google has been working on a feature called the “About this Result” panel, which gives users more insight into their search results and why they’re getting those specific results. Today, Google is expanding what kind of info the panel shows to better give searchers an idea about what factors Google used to decide the results to show.
The way Google determines what is relevant and accurate information for a given query is based on a lot of different criteria. While it can seem complex, some of these core principles are actually pretty easy to understand when they start searching. As announced in a blog post, the About This Result panel will begin showing searchers additional info about some of the most important characteristics utilized by Google Search to tie results to their searches starting today. Because, just as these characteristics aid Google in determining if a result is relevant, they can also aid consumers in determining which result is most valuable to them.
Some of the factors Google uses for determining search results include matching keywords, related terms, backlinks, and local relevancy. And if you didn’t find what you were looking for, the About This Result sidebar now includes helpful search hints to help Google better understand what you’re looking for. The panel will show you how to change your search to achieve the results you want by using search strategies or parameters.
The updated panel is starting to roll out in English to users in the United States, and Google expects to do a wider rollout in the coming months.