Introducing Structured Snippets, now a part of Google Web Search

September 22, 2014

Posted by Corinna Cortes, Boulos Harb, Afshin Rostamizadeh, Ken Wilder, and Cong Yu, Google Research

Google Web Search has evolved in recent years with a host of features powered by the Knowledge Graph and other data sources to provide users with highly structured and relevant data. Structured Snippets is a new feature that incorporates facts into individual result snippets in Web Search. As seen in the example below, interesting and relevant information is extracted from a page and displayed as part of the snippet for the query “nikon d7100”:
The WebTables research team has been working to extract and understand tabular data on the Web with the intent to surface particularly relevant data to users. Our data is already used in the Research Tool found in Google Docs and Slides; Structured Snippets is the latest collaboration between Google Research and the Web Search team employing that data to seamlessly provide the most relevant information to the user. We use machine learning techniques to distinguish data tables on the Web from uninteresting tables, e.g., tables used for formatting web pages. We also have additional algorithms to determine quality and relevance that we use to display up to four highly ranked facts from those data tables. Another example of a structured snippet for the query “superman”, this time as it appears on a mobile phone, is shown below:
Fact quality will vary across results based on page content, and we are continually enhancing the relevance and accuracy of the facts we identify and display. We hope users will find this extra snippet information useful.