Google will better highlight long-form content with a new “in-depth” search box in its results, the company has announced today, flagging up three more comprehensive pieces on certain topics. Aiming to satisfy those looking for a longer read, Google says the new system will cater to the roughly 10-percent of queries that can’t be satisfied with short snippets of results.
For instance, the in-depth article results above might be shown on a search on censorship. However, the results would also show the existing links, such as the Wikipedia page on censorship, dictionary definitions, and other topical content from Google News.
The new results boxes will be added to Google.com search results over the next few days, the company says. Only English results initially will be catered for, though that’s likely to change eventually.
Highlighting content elsewhere on the internet has become a somewhat fraught process for Google in recent years, with a number of high-profile complaints that the search engine prioritizes its own results rather than direct users elsewhere. Antitrust investigations are already underway in Europe, after complaints from other companies angry that Google products allegedly get better placement than their own.
Google attempted to placate those with complaints, but the EU has proved unimpressed with the various compromises the search giant said it would make.
The in-depth articles box also addresses another common complaint about search results, namely that more ephemeral news more often filters to the top of the page at the expense of in-depth, but older articles. The new system should do a better job of highlighting “content that will remain relevant for months or even years after publication” Google’s Pandu Nayak says.