There has been some confusion in the past days on what Google will and will not be doing with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. It did not, for example, build a website that would screen for people eligible to take a test. That was actually from its sister company Verily, though some people may still have difficulty separating Google from its parent, Alphabet. The tech giant, however, does have a website planned but it is now clarifying that it won’t be launching until some time later this week.
Confusing or exaggerated claims aside, Google apparently does have an informational website planned. It just won’t be the overarching and comprehensive screening site that some may have presumed it would be. Instead, Google’s COVID-19 site will just be about surfacing authoritative information for the US, something that better plays to its strength.
This will be a step above what Google is already doing now when people search for topics related to the COVID-19 virus in Google Search. The website will include up-to-date information on locations like testing sites and announcements. This is probably why Google is delaying the launch to ensure that it has fresh and accurate information to publish, something that is getting increasingly difficult to do given the rapid changes.
Google also told The Verge that the site will include screening and testing information. Rather than host those itself, it will most likely just link to CDC information or, better yet, to Verily’s new website.
In other words, Google’s COVID-19 website will be more like an informational dashboard related to the virus, serving the US audience primarily. The site will available in US English, followed by Spanish and other languages as the website grows into an international portal.