Google Testing A New Sources Pane On Search Results

The right sidebar on Google search is not that useful, it is either loaded with Adwords advertisements or houses an instant preview pane. Google decides whether you should be served an advertisement, local results, maps, or the general preview” pane and it appears that one more player is joining the team soon.

SearchEngineLand reports an observation from CyrusShephard, which confirms that Google is testing a brand new right pane on search result pages. The new pane, called sources, provides more in depth information about brands, celebrities and popular figures. Here is an example:



Analyzing the above query and the results on the sourcespane, we can observe a few things:

  • A brief bio, a visual identification and notable events are reported.
  • Links to popular pages like Wikipedia are referenced at the bottom.
  • No cluster of links, recent news stories or blog posts are shown on the right pane. It appears as a simple box of basic information about the query, so that the user instantly knows the person/service/company he used in his query.

It is too early to jump into conclusions, as this feature is still under testing and not available for everyone. It is interesting to note that few months back, Google did released Google Related a chrome extension which offers suggestions to content you might find interesting. While the extension is meant for just about any webpage, the sourcespane is an in-house Google feature.

Ever since Google released their latest algorithmic tweak, the search giant has been obsessing about quality of search results and sustaining user engagement. Author thumbnails on search results, redesigning every possible Google service in no time, launching another social umbrella after three failed attempts, all these signals zero in to one point let us provide answers users are badly looking for.

Cyrus Shepard, the person who took the above screenshot says that the results were a little awkward. He clicked the Twitter logo from sourcespane and arrived on a random blog post, instead of the main Twitter website. This is kinda odd, why would Google link an image to a random blog post which is only partially close to his query?

Here is another screenshot Cyrus shared on his Google Plus account:


For a really simple query as Twitter, Google is showing a lot of background details e.g name of current CEO, the programming language used, headquarters and so forth. I am not sure how this content module will shape up but it surely adds up to the noise in search results.

Google search is no longer simpleas it used to be, but then, change is the only constant.

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Amit Banerjee

Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee