One of the reasons that people Google the most is for health information. Now, Google wants to make that information more accessible by putting health details directly into search results, so that users no longer have to click on links in order to get answers to basic health questions.
Google already does this with dictionary definition and some other search results, but this will be the first foray into health information.
Results Still Appear
Websites with additional health information will still appear below the Google search box that will contain immediate health details. The point here is to make it easier for people to find basic information about health without clicking on a number of websites (and going through layers of annoying advertisements in order to gain health details).
The health information will be added to Google’s Knowledge Graph, which is kind of like an encyclopedia that Google has created. Knowledge Graph is what provides answers to other questions that quickly appear in Google search results (stuff like dictionary definitions and answers about famous people).
Google reports that one in twenty searches are health related, and this is why the company wants to make basic health information available. Google also wants to make sure that the information provided is accurate, which is why the company is pairing with doctors from the Mayo Clinic in order to gather facts and details about various health conditions.
Each fact that Google adds will be checked by over eleven different physicians, so the company is being really careful about providing exact details. All information gathered will be US based as well.
Searching for Health Details
The new health search details will be added to the US Google search and to some Google apps throughout the next few days. How is Google going to decide what to add to the search results first? The company will be adding 400 medical conditions (presumably the most search conditions) to the database first. After that, the company will add more information, and then eventually expand the search results past the US to other countries.
While most people that search Google for health details will likely be happy about the new search information, others aren’t so happy about what Google is doing. Many different companies compete to be at the top of search engine results, and the competition in the health field is particular fierce. Now that Google is providing the details without forcing searchers to click on any links, it’s possible that some of those companies will be cut out of search traffic.
Since many health websites rely on the ads that people click on when viewing the websites, those site owners are less than thrilled about Google’s new health information move. But Google claims that the new information won’t take away from those websites - time will tell. If you live in the US, you should start seeing new health details in your Google health searches now. The rest of the world will gain this information at a later time.