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Photo Illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google on Thursday said it's rolling out a new feature called the "About This Result panel," which will give users more context about their search results, and help them find the most useful information.

Why it matters: The update gives everyday users much more visibility into how Google's search algorithm works.

Details: Beginning in the U.S. this week, users will see a small button that looks like three horizontal dots on the right-hand side of almost all search results. When clicked, it will show a pop-up with additional information.

  • The "About This Result" panel will show users information about some of the most important factors used by Google to answer queries.
  • Some of the factors include matching keywords, related terms, and local relevance, which includes the language one is using and where they are when conducting the search.

Yes, but: Google concedes that there can be risks associated with bringing more transparency to search results, primarily bad actors using the information to better game the search algorithm.

  • "That's one of of reasons we can't expose all of the information about how search works in this panel," said Elizabeth Tucker, a product manager for Google Search. "We would definitely have that concern."
  • Still, Tucker says that what's being elevated isn't super secretive. "I suspect a lot of people who are very technical already know this level of explanation," she said.

What's next: The update rolls out incrementally in the U.S. starting this week and will roll out globally in the future.

Go deeper

Exclusive: ProtonMail wades into U.S. antitrust war

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Privacy-focused email app ProtonMail is stepping into the U.S. antitrust debate as it and other smaller players take on Apple and Google in a fight over app store fees and practices.

Why it matters: App makers have long feared antagonizing Big Tech firms that control their access to customers, but now some are seizing the antitrust moment as a chance to change the rules.

How TikTok sees inside your brain

TikTok logo displayed on a phone screen is seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on July 18, 2021. Photo: Ilustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A new video investigation by the Wall Street Journal finds the key to TikTok's success in how the short-video sharing app monitors viewing times.

Why it matters: TikTok is known for the fiendishly effective way that it selects streams of videos tailored to each user's taste. The algorithm behind this personalization is the company's prize asset — and, like those that power Google and Facebook, it's a secret.

Updated 54 mins ago - Sports

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Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

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