Google’s Making Its Search Results A Bit Easier To Understand

Google’s Making Its Search Results A Bit Easier To Understand
Photo: Alastair Pike, Getty Images

If you’re also the type of person that’s wary about clicking on dubious links in your search results, then here’s a bit of good news: Google’s revamping its native search engine to give us more information about the results we see before we take those risky clicks.

Nearly all English-language search results will get a new widget meant to disclose a bit about the site it actually leads to. The update will roll out on desktop, mobile, and within the Google app for Android for U.S.-based searchers starting today.

When the update comes your way, you might notice a new little ellipse in the upper right-hand corner of a given search result. Tapping that will pull up a basic blurb about the actual site that result leads to — sourced from Wikipedia when available. The new panel will also tell you if your connection to this site is “secure,” meaning that it uses the HTTPS protocol. (You can read all about what that is and why it matters here.)

Graphic: Google Graphic: Google

If the site doesn’t happen to have its own Wikipedia page, Google says it will try showing “additional context” about the site that it has on hand, such as when the search giant first indexed the site. And if you’re one of the many, many people that feels the ads in Google search look a bit too much like actual search results, you’ll be happy to know these new blurbs also tell you whether or not a given link is an ad or not.

Whether you’re likely getting this update later today or — if you’re outside the U.S. — some unknown time in the future, this is a good reminder to always be careful where you click.