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This article was published on November 7, 2011

Google tests ‘Sources’, delivers background information for search results

Google tests ‘Sources’, delivers background information for search results
Matt Brian
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Matt Brian

Matt is the former News Editor for The Next Web. You can follow him on Twitter, subscribe to his updates on Facebook and catch up with him Matt is the former News Editor for The Next Web. You can follow him on Twitter, subscribe to his updates on Facebook and catch up with him on Google+.

Google appears to be testing another new feature within its search results, rolling out a new ‘Sources’ information pane that provides information on a search query by sourcing information from websites including Wikipedia.

The new feature was spotted by Google+ user Cyrus Shepard, who noticed when he searched for the terms “Twitter” and the music artist “Rihanna” Google’s results page would load additional information on the company and the singer, providing a snapshot of their Wikipedia entries where either Adsense adverts or the preview pane would normally be.

Shepard did notice that functionality within the ‘Sources’ section was missing:

For me, the information was hit and miss. For example, I expected the large shiny Twitter icon to take me to Twitter, instead of this odd site here – http://friskymongoose.com/twitter-releases-official-twitter-app-for-android/

This was not what I was expecting and ended up confusing me more than helping. There’s also a strange field that says: “Name: Sign In” – Is that supposed to be my name, or a semantic person field populated by Twitter?

Regardless, more confusion. It also says the category is “Private.” When I click on Private, I’m taken to a SERPs for the word “private.” Not helpful.

The inclusion of Wikipedia results suggests that the search giant is intent on building upon its existing data features that provide flight searches, weather reports, definitions, movie times and sports scores – helping its users get the information they need as quickly as possible.

Whilst the information displayed appears to be accurate, it looks as if the tool is still very new, with the misleading links and odd search suggestions providing a clue of what the search giant has planned for its new ‘Sources’ section.