Helpful Search tools for evaluating information online
People turn to Google every day for information in important moments. Sometimes that’s to look for the best recipe for dinner, other times it’s to check the facts about a claim they heard from a friend.
No matter what you’re searching for, we aim to connect you with high-quality information, and help you understand and evaluate that information. That’s why we design our ranking systems to prioritize the most useful, highest-quality content and provide direct access to reliable information for important topics.
We’re also investing in new ways to give you more context about the information you find online and introducing more information literacy features, based on research and best practices from experts. This week marks UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week, and we’re sharing some new announcements about this important work.
Get context with About this result
When you’re searching for information on Google, it can be helpful to have quick access to more context about the sources and topics you’re finding in Search – so you can make a more informed decision about the sites you may want to visit and what results will be most useful for you.
Starting today, we’re rolling out our About this result feature to people searching in Portuguese, French, Italian, Dutch, German and Spanish in Europe. Next to most results on Google, you’ll begin to see the option to tap the three dots to learn more about the result or feature and where the information is coming from.
- See more information about the source: In addition to seeing a source description from Wikipedia, you’ll also be able to read what a site says about itself in its own words, and when it was first indexed.
- Find what others on the web have said about a site: Reading what others have written about a site -- news, reviews and other helpful background context -- can help you better evaluate sources.
- Learn more about the topic: In the “About the topic” section, you can find information, such as top news coverage or results about the same topic from other sources.
We’ve also launched About this page in the Google app, so you can get helpful context about websites as you’re browsing the web. Just swipe up from the navigation bar on any page to get more information about the source – helping you explore with confidence, no matter where you are online.
Empowering you with context
There are a range of other Google tools that help people evaluate the credibility of information online. For instance, we make it easy to spot fact checks published by independent, authoritative sources on the web. We highlight relevant fact checks on results in Search, News and Google Images.
One of the most important pieces of context we can provide is letting you know when helpful or relevant information isn’t available on the web just yet. This could be true in a rapidly evolving event, where interest in a topic can often travel faster than the facts. Or when relevant information simply doesn’t exist for your search. In these moments, we alert you with a notice recommending that you check back later or try another search.
Supporting Super Searchers
Information literacy is a key skill for people who are trying to navigate an increasingly complex information landscape. To help empower people to understand the tools and tactics that they can use to make sense of information online, Google is partnering with Public Libraries 2030 to launch the Super Searcher training program in Europe.
Under this partnership, librarians and library staff across Europe will be trained on best practices from information literacy experts, including how to use tools like About this result on Search to help evaluate information online. In turn, trained librarians and library staff will be able to help educate library patrons to strengthen their information literacy skills. This program will be offered in 12 countries in the coming months.
We know that Search is a powerful tool for getting high quality information, and we’ll keep investing in ways to empower people to critically evaluate the information they find.