Google has announced that it is beginning to roll out changes to its search results that add information about website owners to its results.
In a post on the company’s official Inside Search blog, software engineer Bart Niechwiej says the results for selected websites will have additional information about the publisher appear alongside the results.
“As you choose the right search result for you — be that about the American Civil War or back pain — you want to know where the results come from.
“To help you learn more about the websites you see in your search results, starting today you may see more information about them directly on the results page when you search on your desktop.
“You’ll see this extra information when a site is widely recognized as notable online, when there is enough information to show or when the content may be handy for you.”
The new feature will present the name of a source of additional information about a particular website or organisation, such as Wikipedia.
By clicking on the link, additional information about the website from that source will appear alongside the result.
“The information you’ll see is based on the Knowledge Graph, Google’s interconnected understanding of the things that exist in the world.
“As we expand the Knowledge Graph, we expect to give you more information about more websites – making it easier for you to choose the right result.”
The tech giant has also set up a form to report any website linking to incorrect details through the new site information feature.
News of the rollout comes on the heels of a blog post by Google’s spam czar, Matt Cutts, warning the search giant is planning a crackdown on backlinks in guest blog posts.
“If you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.
“There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there… I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
“So stick a fork in it: guest blogging [for backlinks] is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.”
The blog post has led to speculation that a major Google update could be in the pipeline in the near future.