Sometimes, internet users need more than 140 characters of information on a subject.
Search Engine Land has uncovered a new feature within Google's standard search engine that offers a list of detailed articles on a searched-for subject as well as the standard list of sponsored links and pages with the best search engine optimization. The in-depth results appear as a box within the first page of results and draw on content from broadsheet publications such as The New York Times.
Google has confirmed that the feature is real and is currently undergoing testing, but whether or not it will become an integrated feature of the search engine will depend on its popularity and the robustness of the search algorithm that supports it.
It's interesting that the search giant is looking to offer internet users detailed, long-form articles on a subject when only last week, in an interview with Wired, Richard Gingras, the company's senior director of news and social products, revealed that the logic behind shuttering Google Reader, its breaking news and RSS feed reader, was that people by and large use Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to ‘nibble' on breaking news and updated information throughout the day rather than spend a long time ‘grazing' on one or two larger chuncks of text to stay informed.
"As a culture we have moved into a realm where the consumption of news is a near-constant process. Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day -- replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day," he said.