Google’s “About This Result” Panel Offers Insight into your Search Results

Have you ever been puzzled by the results from a Google search?  Found yourself wondering how Google connected those results to the words you typed, especially if you didn’t get exactly what you were expecting to find?  Fortunately, the newly enhanced About This Result panel offers some contextual insight into your search results.

To view the About this Result panel, click on the three dots next to most Google search results as shown below.  This will open a new panel that provides information about the source website, a list of your search terms that appear in the results, and any related terms that Google added to your search.  Note that in the example below, I searched for “sources of tribal law.”  Google automatically added in “Native American, court, and legal” as related terms.  In this instance, that was a pretty helpful addition.

Google About This Result screenshot


But sometimes, Google’s revisions are less than helpful.  Fortunately, Aaron Tay’s Musings about Librarianship offers a few ways to counter this unwanted helpfulness:

  • Use verbatim mode – Google will use the literal words you entered without making normal improvements such as making automatic spelling corrections and adding synonyms and related terms
  • Use intext: operator  – This allows you to find pages that have a specific word in the body of the text somewhere (not including the text of the link).  In other words, it forces inclusion on the page.