Google to Let Users Leave Comments on Search Results

For Lawyers, Doctors, and Dentists

Google is constantly rolling out a number of algorithmic updates. Many of Google’s updates are minor, but occasionally there are major ones that can really have an effect on the search results in significant ways.

2018 did not disappoint. Two of the most notable developments were the “Medic” core update and the Chrome Security Warnings for websites that don’t use HTTPS encryption. But the year isn’t over yet, with Google announcing another new feature that relates to what users can do within search results.

Google is currently in the process of rolling out a new feature that will enable users to actually leave comments on search results. While this has not gone live as of yet, an official Google help document has been unveiled that describes how this will all work, thus indicating that something is in the works and will likely be available in the near future.

There are, of course, many questions about this feature, Bearing in mind that it is still in development, here is a look at what we know so far about the comments function on search results:

How Does This Work?

According to Google’s help document:

screenshot of instructions to leave a comment and delete a comment on Google search results

The Social Aspect

With this new feature, Google search will have capabilities that are more commonly found on social media platforms. Users will now not only be able to read comments left by others, but also be able to “like” and “dislike” comments on Google search results just like one would on Facebook and other social platforms.

screenshot of instructions to read comments and report comments on Google search results

The help document only provides instructions on how users can leave comments on sports games. It remains to be seen how Google will integrate this feature for results outside of sports.

How Is This Going to Be Regulated?

Like any feature that allows the public to comment, there will be a policy in place to help regulate the comments and limit abuse of this feature. There are certain criteria that will remain in place with regards to placing comments. For example, comments can’t be left anonymously; users will have to be logged into their Google account, and users will have the ability to delete any comments they have left. Comments that do not follow the policies laid out by Google are subject to deletion, as Google is striving to maintain a positive experience for users across all products.

There is definitely a lot to be left to the imagination about search comments at the moment. Some speculate that this is an attempt to regain users once Google+ is officially shut down. Others think that this might open up the door to spammers. Time will tell as things continue to roll out, and it will be interesting to see what kind of impact the ability to comment on results might have on SEO and users’ decision-making process.

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