Google Giving Search Treatment to More than 400 Medical Conditions
Google is redesigning its search algorithm for various common health-related terms to provide users with structured and curated health information into the knowledge graph and search results.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company said in a press release that 5% of Google’s 100 billion monthly searches are focused on medical search terms. Yet the information displayed in search results can be incomplete or untrustworthy, and most of the times the links that appear lead to a related medical company followed by medical definitions.
So the search giant has decided to work with doctors and medical illustrators to help it improve users’ experience by generating quality health-related content. So far, Google has given this treatment to more than 400 medical conditions ranging from arthritis to pinkeye.
Google also showcased how the mobile experience will look like for the search query “tonsillitis,” the screenshots of which are given below.
“We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is—whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages it affects, and more,” wrote Prem Ramaswami, Google’s Product Manager, in a blog post.
“For some conditions you’ll also see high-quality illustrations from licensed medical illustrators. Once you get this basic info from Google, you should find it easier to do more research on other sites around the web, or know what questions to ask your doctor.”
Google said it has worked with a team of medical professionals to gather and curate content from high-quality medical sources across the web, and the information has been reviewed by medical doctors at Google and the Mayo Clinic for accuracy. Each and every fact has been reviewed by an average of 11.1 doctors, the company claimed.
Users will also be able to compare the curated health content and that of third party sites that may lead them to a better understanding of the credibility of the source. While the initiative will provide a better health-search user experience on Google, this will also motivate publishers to improve their content.
The update has been rolled out for US English for the time being, on the Google’s Android and iOS app and for the PC. The company, however, plans to expand this revamp to more conditions and later make the rollout available worldwide. That means, users will soon start seeing in-depth information and elaborate illustrations for various health-related search queries.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.