Google is testing community-sourced notes for search results

Google is experimenting with a feature that would allow people to add their own notes to search results for anyone to see. In theory, this would make results more helpful, providing a bit of human perspective — like feedback on recipe links or tips relating to travel queries — so people can better find the information that’s relevant to them. Notes are available now as an opt-in feature in Google’s Search Labs.

Search Labs is where Google tests new features that may or may not eventually make it to its flagship search engine. For those who are enrolled and have opted in for the Notes experiment, a Notes button will appear in Search and Discover, and tapping that will pull up all the insights other people have shared about a given article. You can also add your own, and dress it up with stickers, photos and, down the line (for US users only), AI-generated images.

A Note on a recipe from Google Search

While community-sourced notes sound a bit like a recipe for disaster in an age of rampant misinformation and trolling, especially with the inclusion of AI imagery, Google says it will use “a combination of algorithmic protections and human moderation to make sure notes are as safe, helpful and relevant as possible, and to protect against harmful or abusive content.” The company is also looking into ways to let site owners add notes to their own pages.

It’s still just a test, and users will have the opportunity to submit feedback based on their experiences with Notes. The experimental feature has started rolling out for Search Labs on Android and iOS in the US and India.

Source: Google is testing community-sourced notes for search results

Robin Edgar

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