In a surprise announcement today, Google is changing up the user interface and providing more information into the websites displayed in the search results. Rolling out immediately, you’ll see a small menu icon next to almost every SERP that will tell you exactly where the information comes from.
Google says this new tool is an additional transparent step to help users make better informed decisions about if you really want to click through to the website or try another result.
Right now, this is just a beta test available for English results in the United States.
According to Google, when you click on the menu, you will first see a description of the website from Wikipedia. “Based on Wikipedia’s open editing model, which relies on thousands of global volunteers to add content, these descriptions will provide the most up-to-date verified and sourced information available on Wikipedia about the site.” It’s meant to give greater peace of mind and credibility to search results.
However, not all businesses and websites, especially small or local results, have a Wikipedia page. In that case, Google will show other additional contextual information like when it first indexed the site. The tool will show “how Google sources that information from sites on the web, or from businesses themselves, and presents it in a helpful format.” These are things like job listings or local business listings.
Google also says this tool will show if your connection is secure and the website is concurrent with HTTPS protocol. Not having HTTPS can actually hurt you in the rankings today because the Google algorithm prioritizes security.
You can learn more about this update here. And we will continue to monitor to see how this effects traffic for our SEO customers.