It’s almost second nature to us that when we’re talking to other people and we don’t know the answer to a question or we want to know something more about a topic, we turn to Google. In fact, it’s become a verb. But there are times, especially for breaking news or stories that are still evolving, the search results you get may not be the most reliable or the most factual. Google will now include a notice or a warning that the information coming in may be changing quickly and to come back later when information is more definitive.
Google shares that they have now trained their systems to detect when a topic that is being searched is still a developing story. For topics like this, most likely because of the nature of the evolving stories coming in, a range of sources may still be updating or changing the information as it comes in. When you search for something that falls into that category, you’ll get a notice at the top of your search results.
The warning says “It looks like these results are changing quickly”. It also explains that when a topic is relatively new, it may take some time for reliable sources to be added to the search results. The underlying meaning is that you should check back later when more reliable information has come in and don’t necessarily believe or think that the search results you get now will give you the complete picture. Whether it’s about UFOs, Britney Spears, or the latest COVID news, this label should appear if you search about news often.
This isn’t the first time of course that Google has included notices in your search results. You get a label when they have not been able to find good matches for your search query. They have also recently launched an About This Result panel so you can take a look at the sources you find on your search results and determine if they’re helpful or trustworthy. With this information, you can make informed decisions about whether or not to read the websites you get in your results.
The notices about “rapidly evolving results” is rolling out to Google Search in English in the U.S. They will be expanding it plus other related features in the next few months.