Category Archives: Inside Search Blog

The official Google Search blog

Bringing fact check information to Google Images

Photos and videos are an incredible way to help people understand what’s going on in the world. But the power of visual media has its pitfalls⁠—especially when there are questions surrounding the origin, authenticity or context of an image. Starting today, we are surfacing fact check information in Google Images globally to help people navigate these issues and make more informed judgments about what they see on the web. This builds on the fact check features in Search and News, which people come across billions of times per year


Now, when you search on Google Images, you may see a "Fact Check" label under the thumbnail image results. When you tap one of these results to view the image in a larger format, you’ll see a summary of the fact check that appears on the underlying web page. These labels may appear both for fact check articles about specific images and for fact check articles that include an image in the story.
sharksswimming.jpeg

Fact check labels appear on results that come from independent, authoritative sources on the web that meet our criteria. These sources rely on ClaimReview, an open method used by publishers to indicate fact check content to search engines. We already highlight fact checks on Search and in Google News to make this content easy to discover. YouTube also leverages ClaimReview to surface fact check information panels in Brazil, India and the U.S. The full fact check library can be accessed through a dedicated search tool and an open API


Just as is the case in Search, adding this label in Google Images results does not affect ranking; our systems are designed to surface the most relevant, reliable information available, including from sources that provide fact checks.


To recognize the important work being done by fact-checkers during the ongoing pandemic, the Google News Initiative provided $6.5 million in funding support to organizations around the globe earlier this year


Taken together, these efforts not only highlight the significant contributions of the fact check community, but they also ensure that people have access to critical context about the information⁠—and now images⁠—they encounter online.


Source: Search


Bringing fact check information to Google Images

Photos and videos are an incredible way to help people understand what’s going on in the world. But the power of visual media has its pitfalls⁠—especially when there are questions surrounding the origin, authenticity or context of an image. Starting today, we are surfacing fact check information in Google Images globally to help people navigate these issues and make more informed judgments about what they see on the web. This builds on the fact check features in Search and News, which people come across billions of times per year


Now, when you search on Google Images, you may see a "Fact Check" label under the thumbnail image results. When you tap one of these results to view the image in a larger format, you’ll see a summary of the fact check that appears on the underlying web page. These labels may appear both for fact check articles about specific images and for fact check articles that include an image in the story.
sharksswimming.jpeg

Fact check labels appear on results that come from independent, authoritative sources on the web that meet our criteria. These sources rely on ClaimReview, an open method used by publishers to indicate fact check content to search engines. We already highlight fact checks on Search and in Google News to make this content easy to discover. YouTube also leverages ClaimReview to surface fact check information panels in Brazil, India and the U.S. The full fact check library can be accessed through a dedicated search tool and an open API


Just as is the case in Search, adding this label in Google Images results does not affect ranking; our systems are designed to surface the most relevant, reliable information available, including from sources that provide fact checks.


To recognize the important work being done by fact-checkers during the ongoing pandemic, the Google News Initiative provided $6.5 million in funding support to organizations around the globe earlier this year


Taken together, these efforts not only highlight the significant contributions of the fact check community, but they also ensure that people have access to critical context about the information⁠—and now images⁠—they encounter online.


Source: Search


Supporting refugees and displaced people on World Refugee Day

More than 79 million were displaced at the end of last year as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations—29 million of which were refugees. 

Since 2015, we’ve given more than $30 million in Google.org grants to help provide emergency support and access to vital information and educational resources to more than one million refugees. Today, on World Refugee Day, we’re renewing our commitment to work together with nonprofits and find more long-term solutions. We’re supporting the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with $550,000 Google.org and YouTube grants to provide refugees with necessary materials to endure the pandemic, digital skills training series and updates to Google Search in affected countries so people have access to reliable information at all times. 

The global pandemic knows no borders and is affecting everyone—including refugees. Already, YouTube has donated $250,000 to UNHCR to help provide life-saving support, including water, medical care and hygiene materials to refugees and the communities who host them in affected countries.

Equipping refugees with digital skills for future opportunities

Refugees and internally displaced people around the world are facing job losses due to the pandemic’s restrictions. According to UNHCR, 47 percent of the refugee population in 2019 was between the ages 18 and 59 , and the unemployment rate in this demographic is expected to rise.

We’re announcing a $300,000 Google.org grant to help UNHCR further prepare refugees for the changing nature of work. The organization will host online training to help refugees and host community members in the MENA region including Algeria and Morocco learn digital skills throughout a course of a year.

Surfacing reliable information to refugees on Google Search

Often refugees struggle to access timely, trusted and accurate information on the web. Using Google Trends and UNHCR’s internal insights, we’ve identified the most common refugee related questions. Then we helped UNHCR navigate our developer platform to provide refugees with authoritative answers clearly displayed on Google Search to questions like “What happens during the Refugee Status Determination interview?” and “How to qualify for cash assistance?”

Google-EN.gif

 The new feature presents structured answers to refugee-related questions on Search.

AR Demo.gif

An example of a search query in Arabic with authoritative answers from UNHCR.

These results are already available in Arabic, English, Turkish and Farsi, to help refugees who are staying in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. These countries represent the highest number of refugees per capita in the world.   

The number of people forcibly displaced remains at a record high, and the effects of the crisis will go on for years. Nonprofits working alongside these affected communities need our help, and we’ll continue to support them through immediate relief and long-term recovery. 

For World Refugee Day 2020, we celebrate the refugees fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic, alongside their hosts and the aid workers supporting them.

Source: Search


Supporting refugees and displaced people on World Refugee Day

More than 79 million were displaced at the end of last year as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations—29 million of which were refugees. 

Since 2015, we’ve given more than $30 million in Google.org grants to help provide emergency support and access to vital information and educational resources to more than one million refugees. Today, on World Refugee Day, we’re renewing our commitment to work together with nonprofits and find more long-term solutions. We’re supporting the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with $550,000 Google.org and YouTube grants to provide refugees with necessary materials to endure the pandemic, digital skills training series and updates to Google Search in affected countries so people have access to reliable information at all times. 

The global pandemic knows no borders and is affecting everyone—including refugees. Already, YouTube has donated $250,000 to UNHCR to help provide life-saving support, including water, medical care and hygiene materials to refugees and the communities who host them in affected countries.

Equipping refugees with digital skills for future opportunities

Refugees and internally displaced people around the world are facing job losses due to the pandemic’s restrictions. According to UNHCR, 47 percent of the refugee population in 2019 was between the ages 18 and 59 , and the unemployment rate in this demographic is expected to rise.

We’re announcing a $300,000 Google.org grant to help UNHCR further prepare refugees for the changing nature of work. The organization will host online training to help refugees and host community members in the MENA region including Algeria and Morocco learn digital skills throughout a course of a year.

Surfacing reliable information to refugees on Google Search

Often refugees struggle to access timely, trusted and accurate information on the web. Using Google Trends and UNHCR’s internal insights, we’ve identified the most common refugee related questions. Then we helped UNHCR navigate our developer platform to provide refugees with authoritative answers clearly displayed on Google Search to questions like “What happens during the Refugee Status Determination interview?” and “How to qualify for cash assistance?”

Google-EN.gif

 The new feature presents structured answers to refugee-related questions on Search.

AR Demo.gif

An example of a search query in Arabic with authoritative answers from UNHCR.

These results are already available in Arabic, English, Turkish and Farsi, to help refugees who are staying in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. These countries represent the highest number of refugees per capita in the world.   

The number of people forcibly displaced remains at a record high, and the effects of the crisis will go on for years. Nonprofits working alongside these affected communities need our help, and we’ll continue to support them through immediate relief and long-term recovery. 

For World Refugee Day 2020, we celebrate the refugees fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic, alongside their hosts and the aid workers supporting them.

Source: Search


Why keeping spam out of Search is so important

When you come to Search with a query in mind, you trust that Google will find a number of relevant and helpful pages to choose from. We put a lot of time and effort into improving our search systems to ensure that’s the case.


Working on improvements to our language understanding and other search systems is only part of why Google remains so helpful. Equally important is our ability to fight spam. Without our spam-fighting systems and teams, the quality of Search would be reduced--it would be a lot harder to find helpful information you can trust. 


With low quality pages spamming their way into the top results, the greater the chances that people could get tricked by phony sites trying to steal personal information or infect their computers with malware. If you’ve ever gone into your spam folder in Gmail, that’s akin to what Search results would be like without our spam detection capabilities.


Every year we publish a Webspam Report that details the efforts behind reducing spam in your search results and supporting the community of site creators whose websites we help you discover. To coincide with this year’s report, we wanted to give some additional context for why spam-fighting is so important, and how we go about it.


Defining “spam”

We’ve always designed our systems to prioritize the most relevant and reliable webpages at the top. We publicly describe the factors that go into our ranking systems so that web creators can understand the types of content that our systems will recognize as high quality.

We define “spam” as using techniques that attempt to mimic these signals without actually delivering on the promise of a high quality content, or other tactics that might prove harmful to searchers.

Our Webmaster Guidelines detail the types of spammy behavior that is discouraged and can lead to a lower ranking: everything from scraping pages and keyword stuffing to participating in link schemes and implementing sneaky redirects


Fighting spam is never-ending battle, a constant game of cat-and-mouse against existing and new spammy behaviors. This threat of spam is why we’ve continued to be very careful about how much detail we reveal about how our systems work. However, we do share a lot, including resources that provide transparency about the positive behaviors creators should follow to create great information and gain visibility and traffic from Search.


Spotting the spammers

The first step of fighting spam is detection. So how do we spot it? We employ a combination of manual reviews by our analysts and a variety of automated detection systems.


We can’t share the specific techniques we use for spam fighting because that would weaken our protections and ultimately make Search much less useful. But we can share about spammy behavior that can be detected systematically. 


After all, a low quality page might include the right words and phrases that match what you searched for, so our language systems wouldn’t be able to detect unhelpful pages from content alone. The telltale signs of spam are in the behavioral tactics used and how they try to manipulate our ranking systems against our Webmaster Guidelines


Our spam-fighting systems detect these behaviors so we can tackle this problem at scale. In fact, the scale is huge. Last year, we observed that more than 25 billion of the pages we find each day are spammy. (If each of those pages were a page in a book, that would be more than 20 million copies of “War & Peace” each day!) This leads to an important question: once we find all this spam, what happens next?


Stopping the spammers

When it comes to how we handle spam, it depends on the type of spam and how severe the violation is. For most of the 25 billion spammy pages detected each day, we’re able to automatically recognize their spammy behavior and ensure they don’t rank well in our results. But that’s not the case for everything. 


As with anything, our automated systems aren’t perfect. That’s why we also supplement them with human review, a team that does its own spam sleuthing to understand if content or sites are violating our guidelines. Often, this human review process leads to better automated systems. We look to understand how that spam got past our systems and then work to improve our detection, so that we catch the particular case and automatically detect many other similar cases overall.


In other cases, we may issue what’s called a manual action, when one of our human spam reviewers finds that content that isn’t complying with our Webmaster Guidelines. This can lead to a demotion or a removal of spam content from our search results, especially if it’s deemed to be particularly harmful, like a hacked site that has pages distributing malware to visitors.


When a manual action takes place, we send a notice to the site owner via Search Console, which webmasters can see in their Manual Actions Report. We send millions of these notices each year, and it gives site owners the opportunity to fix the issue and submit for reconsideration. After all, not all “spam” is purposeful, so if a site owner has inadvertently tried tactics that run afoul of our guidelines, or if their site has been compromised by hackers, we want to ensure they can make things right and have their useful information again available to people in Search. This brings us back to why we invest so much effort in fighting spam: so that Search can bring you good, helpful and safe content from sites across the web.


Discovering great information

It’s unfortunate that there’s so much spam, and so much effort that has to be spent fighting it. But that shouldn’t overshadow the fact there are millions upon millions of businesses, publishers and websites with great content for people to discover. We want them to succeed, and we provide tools, support and guidance to help.


We publish our own Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide to provide tips on how to succeed with appropriate techniques in Search. Our Search Relations team conducts virtual office hours, monitors our Webmaster Community forums, and (when possible!) hosts and participates in events around the world to help site creators improve their presence in Search. We provide a variety of support resources, as well as the Search Console toolset to help creators with search.


We’d also encourage anyone to visit our How Google Search Works site, which shares more generally about how our systems work to generate great search results for everyone.


Source: Search


Learn more about anxiety with a self-assessment on Search

Editor’s note: This post is authored by Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO of The National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Anxiety disorders affect 48 million adults in the U.S. Anxiety presents itself as a wide range of symptoms, and can be a result of biological factors or triggered by a change in environment or exposure to a stressful event. With COVID-19 introducing new points of stress, communities are seeing a rise in mental health issues and needs. New Census Bureau data released last week shows that a third of Americans are now showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization and we’re partnering with Google to provide access to mental health resources. Starting today when people in the U.S. search on Google for information about anxiety, we’ll provide access to a clinically-validated questionnaire called the GAD-7 (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7). The GAD-7 will show up in the knowledge panel—the box of information that displays key facts when you search for something—and also has medically-validated information about anxiety, including symptoms and common treatments.

Anxiety self-assessment

This seven-question survey covers many of the same questions a health professional may ask, and your answers are private and secure (Google does not collect or share answers or results from the questionnaire). The GAD-7 helps people understand how their self-reported anxiety symptoms map to anxiety levels of people who completed the same questionnaire. The tool also provides access to resources developed by NAMI so people can learn more and seek help when needed. 

Anxiety self-assessment results

The GAD-7 is the third mental health screener available on Google Search. We’ve previously partnered with Google so that people who search for information on depression and PTSD can access relevant clinically-validated questionnaires that provide more information and links to resources about those conditions. The self-assessments are currently available in the U.S., and Google hopes to make them available in additional countries over time.

Anxiety can show up as a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, and it can take decades for people who first experience symptoms to get treatment. By providing access to authoritative information, and the resources and tools to learn more about anxiety, we hope to empower more people to take action and seek help.

Source: Search


Learn more about anxiety with a self-assessment on Search

Editor’s note: This post is authored by Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO of The National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Anxiety disorders affect 48 million adults in the U.S. Anxiety presents itself as a wide range of symptoms, and can be a result of biological factors or triggered by a change in environment or exposure to a stressful event. With COVID-19 introducing new points of stress, communities are seeing a rise in mental health issues and needs. New Census Bureau data released last week shows that a third of Americans are now showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization and we’re partnering with Google to provide access to mental health resources. Starting today when people in the U.S. search on Google for information about anxiety, we’ll provide access to a clinically-validated questionnaire called the GAD-7 (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7). The GAD-7 will show up in the knowledge panel—the box of information that displays key facts when you search for something—and also has medically-validated information about anxiety, including symptoms and common treatments.

Anxiety self-assessment

This seven-question survey covers many of the same questions a health professional may ask, and your answers are private and secure (Google does not collect or share answers or results from the questionnaire). The GAD-7 helps people understand how their self-reported anxiety symptoms map to anxiety levels of people who completed the same questionnaire. The tool also provides access to resources developed by NAMI so people can learn more and seek help when needed. 

Anxiety self-assessment results

The GAD-7 is the third mental health screener available on Google Search. We’ve previously partnered with Google so that people who search for information on depression and PTSD can access relevant clinically-validated questionnaires that provide more information and links to resources about those conditions. The self-assessments are currently available in the U.S., and Google hopes to make them available in additional countries over time.

Anxiety can show up as a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, and it can take decades for people who first experience symptoms to get treatment. By providing access to authoritative information, and the resources and tools to learn more about anxiety, we hope to empower more people to take action and seek help.

Source: Search


Google’s new tools help businesses during COVID-19

Running a business requires a whole lot of ingenuity and perseverance. It’s those same qualities that are helping local businesses adapt, and even thrive, in today’s new normal. To adjust, business owners are increasingly turning to digital tools. According to a newly released report by the Connected Commerce Council, nearly one in three small business owners said that without digital tools they would have had to close all or parts of their business.

We’ve rolled out new features to help businesses get the support they need, adapt their operations, and quickly update customers about their latest changes.

Let people know how they can help 

We’ve seen firsthand in Google Search and Maps the impact that COVID-19 has had on small businesses and how they connect with their customers. People across the world are looking for ways to continue supporting corner bookstores, local watering holes, beloved dance studios and other businesses that give their neighborhoods character—even if it’s from a distance. 

To help local businesses share how their communities can support them during COVID-19, we recently began allowing merchants in six countries to add support links for donations and gift cards to their Business Profiles on Google. Starting today, we’re rolling support links out to merchants in an additional 18 countries such as Italy, Spain and Japan. We’ve partnered with PayPal and GoFundMe for donations. For gift cards, merchants can link directly to the relevant page on their website or to their gift card offerings with one of our eligible partners, which includes Square, Toast, Clover and Vagaro.

People around the world are looking to help—with global search interest in "how to help small businesses" reaching an all-time high in March 2020, increasing more than 700 percent since February. To help connect them with nearby businesses in need, we’ve made it possible for people to look up their favorite local businesses by name to see if they’ve added donation or gift card links to their Business Profile. And in the coming weeks, people will also be able to use Search and Maps to find all of the nearby businesses that are asking for support. 

Support Links Search

People can now look up their favorite local businesses to see if they have donation or gift card links on their Business Profile

Transition to online services with ease 

Merchants who normally provided in-person services are now pivoting to connect with their customers virtually—from yoga studios offering online classes to salons hosting virtual hair styling classes. We’re making it easier for customers to discover online classes and book virtual appointments with these new features:

  • Get discovered:Merchants who are verified on Google My Business will soon be able to add attributes like “online classes,” “online appointments,” or “online estimates” to their Business Profiles to let people know how they’re operating. Today merchants can add one of these attributes using Google My Business, and in the coming weeks it’ll be visible on merchants’ Business Profiles in Search and Maps. 

  • Online service bookings directly on Google:We’re expanding Reserve with Google to help merchants offer easy appointment bookings for online services so customers can quickly find available times, book a slot, and add it to their Google Calendar—all directly from a merchant’s Business Profile. Millions of people have already booked in-person appointments with salons, restaurants and other businesses thanks to integrations from over 100 Reserve with Google partners. We’re now expanding this to include bookings for online services, starting with partners like Booksy, Regis, WellnessLiving, and Zooty. Merchants working with one of these partners can offer online bookings directly on Google and share details with customers about how to pay and join the meeting using their preferred video platform.

Online Class Booking

 Merchants can offer easy appointment bookings for online services. 

Keep everyone in the know with the latest business information

Sometimes it’s not as simple as “open” and “closed.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve added new tools to help merchants keep customers informed about how and when they’re operating. 

Across all business verticals, we launched the ability to mark their business as temporarily closed, as well as reopen when they’re ready to open their doors. We also added secondary hours and COVID-19 posts so merchants can communicate important information about their operations directly in Google Search and Maps. Since March, we’ve seen more than 1 million businesses share COVID-19 posts, with millions of clicks to merchants’ websites every week as consumers look for more information.

With many people unable to enjoy meals inside their favorite restaurants, demand for food delivery and takeout has skyrocketed. In response, we’ve added more third-party ordering providers, so people everywhere can order delivery and takeout from an additional 25,000 restaurants directly on Google. To give merchants even more control, we’ll soon be making it easier for food merchants to indicate their preferred online ordering partners on their Business Profiles. 

Today people are deciding where to grab food not only based on the menu, but also on how easy it is to pick up safely. We added attributes like “curbside pickup,” “no contact delivery,” and “dine-in” so that restaurants could easily share these important details on their Business Profiles in Search and Maps. Since March, more than 3 million restaurants have added or edited their dining attributes. Some restaurateurs are even ditching dining areas for good. To support all types of food merchants, virtual kitchens can now verify their businesses on Google My Business. 

We know that every day during this pandemic can be drastically different—and for small business owners, there can be a lot of uncertainty. While we can’t control what each day looks like, our goal is to continue helping businesses communicate the latest with consumers across the world. 

Source: Search


Google’s new tools help businesses during COVID-19

Running a business requires a whole lot of ingenuity and perseverance. It’s those same qualities that are helping local businesses adapt, and even thrive, in today’s new normal. To adjust, business owners are increasingly turning to digital tools. According to a newly released report by the Connected Commerce Council, nearly one in three small business owners said that without digital tools they would have had to close all or parts of their business.

We’ve rolled out new features to help businesses get the support they need, adapt their operations, and quickly update customers about their latest changes.

Let people know how they can help 

We’ve seen firsthand in Google Search and Maps the impact that COVID-19 has had on small businesses and how they connect with their customers. People across the world are looking for ways to continue supporting corner bookstores, local watering holes, beloved dance studios and other businesses that give their neighborhoods character—even if it’s from a distance. 

To help local businesses share how their communities can support them during COVID-19, we recently began allowing merchants in six countries to add support links for donations and gift cards to their Business Profiles on Google. Starting today, we’re rolling support links out to merchants in an additional 18 countries such as Italy, Spain and Japan. We’ve partnered with PayPal and GoFundMe for donations. For gift cards, merchants can link directly to the relevant page on their website or to their gift card offerings with one of our eligible partners, which includes Square, Toast, Clover and Vagaro.

People around the world are looking to help—with global search interest in "how to help small businesses" reaching an all-time high in March 2020, increasing more than 700 percent since February. To help connect them with nearby businesses in need, we’ve made it possible for people to look up their favorite local businesses by name to see if they’ve added donation or gift card links to their Business Profile. And in the coming weeks, people will also be able to use Search and Maps to find all of the nearby businesses that are asking for support. 

Support Links Search

People can now look up their favorite local businesses to see if they have donation or gift card links on their Business Profile

Transition to online services with ease 

Merchants who normally provided in-person services are now pivoting to connect with their customers virtually—from yoga studios offering online classes to salons hosting virtual hair styling classes. We’re making it easier for customers to discover online classes and book virtual appointments with these new features:

  • Get discovered:Merchants who are verified on Google My Business will soon be able to add attributes like “online classes,” “online appointments,” or “online estimates” to their Business Profiles to let people know how they’re operating. Today merchants can add one of these attributes using Google My Business, and in the coming weeks it’ll be visible on merchants’ Business Profiles in Search and Maps. 

  • Online service bookings directly on Google:We’re expanding Reserve with Google to help merchants offer easy appointment bookings for online services so customers can quickly find available times, book a slot, and add it to their Google Calendar—all directly from a merchant’s Business Profile. Millions of people have already booked in-person appointments with salons, restaurants and other businesses thanks to integrations from over 100 Reserve with Google partners. We’re now expanding this to include bookings for online services, starting with partners like Booksy, Regis, WellnessLiving, and Zooty. Merchants working with one of these partners can offer online bookings directly on Google and share details with customers about how to pay and join the meeting using their preferred video platform.

Online Class Booking

 Merchants can offer easy appointment bookings for online services. 

Keep everyone in the know with the latest business information

Sometimes it’s not as simple as “open” and “closed.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve added new tools to help merchants keep customers informed about how and when they’re operating. 

Across all business verticals, we launched the ability to mark their business as temporarily closed, as well as reopen when they’re ready to open their doors. We also added secondary hours and COVID-19 posts so merchants can communicate important information about their operations directly in Google Search and Maps. Since March, we’ve seen more than 1 million businesses share COVID-19 posts, with millions of clicks to merchants’ websites every week as consumers look for more information.

With many people unable to enjoy meals inside their favorite restaurants, demand for food delivery and takeout has skyrocketed. In response, we’ve added more third-party ordering providers, so people everywhere can order delivery and takeout from an additional 25,000 restaurants directly on Google. To give merchants even more control, we’ll soon be making it easier for food merchants to indicate their preferred online ordering partners on their Business Profiles. 

Today people are deciding where to grab food not only based on the menu, but also on how easy it is to pick up safely. We added attributes like “curbside pickup,” “no contact delivery,” and “dine-in” so that restaurants could easily share these important details on their Business Profiles in Search and Maps. Since March, more than 3 million restaurants have added or edited their dining attributes. Some restaurateurs are even ditching dining areas for good. To support all types of food merchants, virtual kitchens can now verify their businesses on Google My Business. 

We know that every day during this pandemic can be drastically different—and for small business owners, there can be a lot of uncertainty. While we can’t control what each day looks like, our goal is to continue helping businesses communicate the latest with consumers across the world. 

Source: Search


A reintroduction to our Knowledge Graph and knowledge panels

Sometimes Google Search will show special boxes with information about people, places and things. We call these knowledge panels. They’re designed to help you quickly understand more about a particular subject by surfacing key facts and to make it easier to explore a topic in more depth. Information within knowledge panels comes from our Knowledge Graph, which is like a giant virtual encyclopedia of facts. In this post, we’ll share more about how knowledge panels are automatically generated, how data for the Knowledge Graph is gathered and how we monitor and react to reports of incorrect information.

What’s a knowledge panel?

Knowledge panels are easily recognized by those who do desktop searching, appearing to the right of search results:
Knowledge Panel

Our systems aim to show the most relevant and popular information for a topic within a knowledge panel. Because no topic is the same, exactly what is shown in a knowledge panel will vary. But typically, they’ll include:

  • Title and short summary of the topic
  • A longer description of the subject
  • A picture or pictures of the person, place or thing
  • Key facts, such as when a notable figure was born or where something is located
  • Links to social profiles and official websites

Knowledge panels might also include special information related to particular topics. For example:

  • Songs from musical artists
  • Upcoming episodes from TV shows
  • Rosters of sports teams.

Sources of information for the Knowledge Graph

The information about an “entity”—a person, place or thing—in our knowledge panels comes from our Knowledge Graph, which was launched in 2012. It’s a system that understands facts and information about entities from materials shared across the web, as well as from open source and licensed databases. It has amassed over 500 billion facts about five billion entities.


Wikipedia is a commonly-cited source, but it’s not the only one. We draw from hundreds of sources from across the web, including licensing data that appears in knowledge panels for music, sports and TV. We work with medical providers to create carefully vetted content for knowledge panels for health issues. We also draw from special coding that content owners can use, such as to indicate upcoming events.

On mobile, multiple knowledge panels provide facts

When we first launched knowledge panels, most search activity happened on desktop, where there was room to easily show knowledge panels alongside search results. Today, most search activity happens on mobile, where screen size doesn’t allow for a side-by-side display.


To this end, information from the Knowledge Graph is often not presented through a single knowledge panel on mobile. Instead, one or more knowledge panels may appear interspersed among the overall results.

Mobile Knowledge Panel

How we work to improve the Knowledge Graph

Inaccuracies in the Knowledge Graph can occasionally happen. Just as we have automatic systems that gather facts for the Knowledge Graph, we also have automatic systems designed to prevent inaccuracies from appearing. However, as with anything, the systems aren’t perfect. That’s why we also accept reports from anyone about issues.


Selecting the “Feedback” link at the bottom of a knowledge panel or the three dots at the top of one on mobile brings up options to provide feedback to us:

Knowledge Panel feedback

We analyze feedback like this to understand how any actual inaccuracies got past our systems, so that we can make improvements generally across the Knowledge Graph overall. We also remove inaccurate facts that come to our attention for violating our policies, especially prioritizing issues relating to public interest topics such as civic, medical, scientific, and historical issues or where there’s a risk of serious and immediate harm.

How entities can claim and suggest changes to a knowledge panel

Many knowledge panels can be “claimed” by the subject they are about, such as a person or a company. The claiming process—what we call getting verified—allows subjects to provide feedback directly to us about potential changes or to suggest things like a preferred photo. For local businesses, there’s a separate process of claiming that operates through Google My Business. This enables local businesses to manage special elements in their knowledge panels, such as opening hours and contact phone numbers.

For more information about topics like this, check out our How Search Works blog series and website.

Source: Search