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Helpful Search tools for evaluating information online

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Whether you’re looking for facts about the COVID vaccine or information on how to apply for a loan, having access to relevant, credible information is crucial. People turn to Google for trustworthy, high quality results -- especially when it matters most.  

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 looking into 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. 

More insights from About This Result

Earlier this year, we launched the About This Result feature, which provides details about a website before you visit it, including its description, when it was first indexed and whether your connection to the site is secure. In the coming weeks, we’re expanding these panels to help you learn more about the sources and topics you find on Search. 

We’re bringing new and important insights to About This Result. When you tap the three dots on any search result, you’ll be able to learn more about the page. You can: 

  • 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, when that information is available.
  • Find what others on the web have said about a site: Reading what others on the web 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.

People don’t just come to Google looking for quick facts. They often really want to explore the information that’s out there, and learn about where it’s coming from — especially in situations where there’s a source they may not be familiar with. We want to make it easier to evaluate information with this update to About This Result, which will be rolling out in the coming weeks in English in the United States. And we’re working to bring About This Result to more countries around the world. 

Phone screen showing content advisory for rapidly changing results.

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. These fact check features have received billions of impressions in Search this year alone.

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. 

With each of these tools, our goal is to offer simple, useful ways for you to evaluate and make sense of the information you find online. We’ll continue to look for new ways to improve and add to these features and make sure they’re easy to find and use. 

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