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New Google Search tool helps you weed-out dodgy info before you click

Google is adding an “about this result” feature to Search results, which aims to give users a little information about the site in question, before they click the link.

The feature, which is rolling out in beta, can be summoned from a menu next to the search result. The information, which comes from Wikipedia, aims to give users a little further context about sites they’re less familiar with.

Google says the information from Wiki is “up-to-date verified and sourced” and will give web users a little peace of mind before they seek information about vaccines, personal finances or any more of the important quandaries life can throw up.

“When available, you’ll see a description of the website from Wikipedia, which provides free, reliable information about tens of millions of sites on the web.” Google says on the Keyword blog.

“Based on Wikipedia’s open editing model, which relies on thousands of global volunteers to add content, these descriptions will provide the most up-to-date verified and sourced information available on Wikipedia about the site. If it’s a site you haven’t heard of before, that additional information can give you context or peace of mind, especially if you’re looking for something important, like health or financial information.”

You’ll also be presented with information on whether the site offers a secure HTTPS connection and whether the result derives from an organic search or a paid advertisement. The feature is coming to mobile and web and the Google app for Android. It’s in the US initially, but it’s likely we’ll see this feature arrive in Europe sooner rather than later.

The feature should enable users to feel a little more safe taking advice from the source if it’s not a site they’ve frequented before. Given the continued rise of online misinformation, the new tool can’t arrive soon enough.

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