Wikipedia Gatekeeping The About This Result Google Feature?

Feb 4, 2021 - 7:41 am 6 by

Google Gatekeeper

I honestly think this new "about this result" feature is not a big deal (I can be wrong) but with anything new with Google Search, SEOs tend to obsess about it. So now SEOs are concerned about the information within that feature. Specifically, why is most (all) of it coming from Wikipedia and when Wikipedia does not have information, it just shows when Google first indexed it.

First, let's show the two basic kind of information you see today for a normal snippet. Not the local or other types of snippets, like answers you get in search.

Here is this site, which does not have a Wikipedia entry (click to enlarge):

click for full size

Here is the WSJ, which does have a Wikipedia entry (click to enlarge):

click for full size

So then you have this debate about it is Wikipedia or Google's first crawl date, why not show data that the site owner can give Google. Why do we have to be subjugated by either Wikipedia or Google for the information about the site we own? Right, it is not fair!

Danny Sullivan from Google said no, "it's not gatekeeping," he said. "We show additional information about the source of a result as an *option* people can choose to view *if they want*. Wikipedia is one source; what we know of a domain is another. As a beta launch, we'll be looking to further improve going forward," Danny added.

But the conversation gets entertaining; is it or is it not gatekeeping?

SEOs need to jump into new things and react when we shouldn't?

It is new and in BETA so relax:

Thing is, the old Danny Sullivan would have pointed out these concerns on Search Engine Land. It is this type of feedback where Google can potentially listen to the feedback and adjust the solution going forward.

Personally, I don't think this feature will last. I don't see searchers, the normal searcher, using it. That is why this does not bother me too much. But I can be wrong. I do think Google can give site owners a way, like they do with knowledge panels in general, to claim them and potentially suggest edits. Of course, I understand why Google does not want to let SEOs control what that says. I can see SEOs trying to inject fun marketing messages and who knows what.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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