Update: Google has officially confirmed the special search feature is rolling out in 13 countries including Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, Germany, and the UK.
Starting from today, Google Australia has tweaked search results for terms relating to poisoning and suicide. Above search results, users will now see a red phone icon and a phone number for the Australian Poisons Hotline or Lifeline 24 hour Counselling Services.
Originating in the U.S. last year, Google’s Roni Zeiger created the special search after being contacted by a mother who had trouble finding a poison control hotline on google.com. Feedback from colleagues led to the introduction of a special search result for suicide search terms as well.
Australian partners Lifeline and the Poisons Information Centre reportedly welcomed the idea, saying it would “quite literally, help us save more lives”.
“People come to Google to search for information. Particularly in times of crisis, it’s especially important for them to find the crucial information they’re looking for, and find it fast, and these special search results can save precious moments.”
Unfortunately, the search terms may need some work. Upon testing today, terms like poisoning, poison centre, and poison info line did show the prominent phone icon and hotline number. However, terms like poison info, poisoned, and poison help did not trigger the special search results. Similarly, a search for suicide or suicide help returned the Lifeline phone number, but suicide prevention, suicide methods, and preventing suicide did not.
We are currently waiting for comment from Google regarding the specifics of the search terms.