Google search results can tell you more about a site before you visit it

Igor Bonifacic
·Contributing Writer
·2-min read

Google is introducing a new feature to help you find out more information about the websites that show up when you use its search engine. Provided you live in the US, as of today, you鈥檒l start to see a three dots icon next to each search result. Tapping on one of those, whether you鈥檙e on mobile or desktop, will bring up a description of the website that鈥檚 on the other end of the link.

In most instances, that information will come from Wikipedia unless Google points you to one of its services, in which case you鈥檒l get a blurb on how it sourced its data. In cases where neither is available, you get some basic information about the website, such as when it was first indexed. In every instance, there will be a note if your connection to the website is secured through HTTPS.

The feature allows you to do a couple of things, according to Google. First, it saves you the trouble of conducting a second search to find out about the website you鈥檙e about to visit. Second, Google suggests the panels will allow you to make more informed decisions about how you use the internet and provide peace of mind if you鈥檙e looking for important information related to topics like financial advice.

But with Google leaning so heavily on Wikipedia, the descriptions will only be as useful as the summaries you find on the website. Wikipedia鈥檚 editors aren鈥檛 perfect, and they haven鈥檛 written about every website that鈥檚 out there. Additionally, the feature falls into the modern interface design trap of hiding useful information behind an overflow menu. If someone doesn鈥檛 know to tap the three dots icon, they can鈥檛 advantage of the additional information Google is providing.