Google launched a new search labs experiment named “Notes.” Notes gives searchers a way write their own notes on a specific search result listing and within Google Discover while also allowing others to read people’s notes on that search result listing.
“Our goal with this new Labs experiment is to provide access to helpful tips about an article or topic from both experts and everyday people. This not only helps you narrow in on the most relevant information, but also may help you see what worked for others who have been there before,” Brad Kelle, Senior Director of Engineering, Search at Google told us.
We knew Google was working on notes for search and here it is.
How it works. After you turn on the Search labs experiment you can view, create, and share notes on content in Google Search results and Google Discover. When go to the search results, you may see two icons below the search result snippet.
(1) Add Note: This button lets you add your own note to that search result listing.
(2) # notes: This shows you the number of notes on a specific search result listing and lets you view some of those notes on a separate page.
What it looks like. Here is what the snippet looks like, with those two icons:
When you click to view notes, you are taken to a page that shows you a list of the available notes ranked in order of some Google ranking algorithm, to show you the most useful notes first. Here is what that list view looks like:
You will see that notes can have visual backgrounds, with text and images. All notes also contain a link in the footer directly to the web page the notes are related to:
You can customize your Google note with elements like text, stickers and photos, and you can pick from different visual styles. Here is a GIF showing how to create a note using this feature:
Ranking. Google said it uses both algorithmic protections and human reviews to ensure the notes are useful and relevant, and not spammy and abusive. Plus searchers can report notes that may be problematic.
Google said each note is ranked for a given web page based on its relevance to the search query and the content on the page.
The notes are crawlable by Google for ranking purposes. but the ranking is just for the notes feature. Google does not have plans to use the notes for ranking purposes in the normal search results. This ranking feature is isolated to just ranking the notes on this notes page.
Notes have zero impact on rankings of that site, so adding more or less notes or types of notes will have no impact on how well or how high that search result listing ranks.
Site owners. Google said that notes were designed to work hand in hand with content on the web and as a result, Google is working on ways to give publishers insights into the notes left about their web pages and content. Google would not tell us if this will be a future feature in Search Console but said right now this is just a labs experiment and will announce more details in the future as this graduates labs.
Launches today. This is launching today as a Search Labs feature in the English in the U.S. and Hindi and English in India on the Google App and mobile search results.