Google Tests a New Interface for Info Panes

Last year, Google started to test a new sidebar that offers useful information about your query. As the Wall Street Journal mentioned in a recent article, Google will soon “present more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the search-results page”. There’s a large database of entities and each one has a list of relevant attributes.

For example, you could search for [California] and Google displays the capital of the US state, a list of important cities, attractions, the Secretary of State, a map and a snippet from Wikipedia. Google continues to test the info panes, but the interface has been updated, the main thumbnail is smaller and there’s more information that’s displayed. For singers, Google displays a long list of songs and some important albums.

Google’s experimental sidebar is similar to Wikipedia’s infobox, “a fixed-format table designed to be added to the top right-hand corner of articles to consistently present a summary of some unifying aspect that the articles share and sometimes to improve navigation to other interrelated articles”. It includes structured information about your query, related queries and links to all the topics that are mentioned. Google will look more like an encyclopedia.

{ Thanks, Anirban. }

Google Operating System