Google Search Labs Adds Notes To Search Results

Nov 16, 2023 • 7:21 am | comments (1) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Woman Taking Notes Google Logo

Google Search is testing a new notes feature where you can add your own notes to the search results and also see the notes others have left on that search result. This is a Search Labs experiment that you need to opt into and launched in the US and India on mobile and within the Google app.

You can add and view notes on both Google Search and in Google Discover.

If you opt into this Search labs experiment you will see a new "add note" icon on search results. If others left notes, you will see the number of notes for a specific search result.

Clicking on add note will give you the ability to add a note that anyone else can see. While clicking to view the notes will let you see other notes other searchers left on that search results.

Here is a screenshot of that add note and notes icon:

Google Notes Button

Then when you click to view the notes, you are taken to a listing of these notes, the notes are ranked in order or relevancy and usefulness. Here is the notes list view:

Google Notes Feed

Here is the detail note view for a single note, you will see in the footer of each note screen, there is a link to the source landing page.

Google Notes Single View

Google said these notes are crawled by its bots so that it can rank the notes within the notes screen. Google uses a different algorithm to rank the best notes first. Each note is ranked for a given web page based on its relevance to the search and content on the note.

Google added new search developer documentation and wrote, "Content is eligible for users to add notes if it's indexed by Google, meets our spam policies, and if the topic is eligible to appear with notes, which Google determines through signals like the search term, text on the web page, and other links to the website." "You don't need to add any special tags or structured data to be eligible, but keep in mind that being eligible doesn't mean the appearance is guaranteed," Google added.

Google also said it uses both algorithms and human review to ensure the notes are sensible for the searcher and search result. Anyone can also report notes that may not be sensible.

Notes do not impact search rankings; they don't impact how the site ranks or how other sites. The rankings for the notes are specific to the notes themselves but not how the sites rank in general. Google again wrote in its documentation, "Notes don't affect how your web page is ranked."

Google said it is thinking of ways to share these notes with the publishers. Google said since the notes were designed to work hand in hand with content on the web, Google wants to give publishers insights into their notes. How Google will do that is not determined yet, but maybe one day we will see them integrated with Search Console - if this labs experiment ever goes live.

Here is what it looks like to create a note:

Google Create Notes

Here is a help document on how all of this works.

This is different from SearchWiki from 2008 but many OG SEOs are probably getting nostalgic about SearchWiki when reading this.

Here is a video from Googlers that explain this:

I should note that with all these announcements, the tone has been more around how Google has lost its way and is adding unnecessary features that are more a distraction than useful. That is what I am seeing from the community.

Forum discussion at X.

Update: Yep, these notes are crawlable and being indexed by Google Search:

John Mueller from Google responded to this saying, "Yes, they're normal pages too."

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