As previously reported, Google is rolling out a new search feature that adds a box of quick answer-type results for health-related queries.
In the official announcement on the Inside Search blog, Roni Zeiger made a point to say, “The list is not authored by doctors and of course is not advice from medical experts.”
Given the importance of search relevancy when it comes to health-related queries, we sought a bit more info on the new feature from Google.
“The results we show are a reflection of content available across the web related to a given query for symptoms,” a Google spokesperson explains. “The lists are not checked manually by medical doctors. We’re hoping to simplify the search process for users by showing the conditions related to the symptoms they searched for in a single step.”
“This search feature will trigger for many symptom-related queries such as ‘cough’, ‘runny nose and cough’, or ‘knee pain when I stand up,'” she adds. “Triggering isn’t perfect and it’s a work in progress, so many symptom queries may not trigger this feature. The feature will not trigger for queries about health conditions such as ‘diabetes’ or ‘asthma’.”
“Our algorithms find the conditions most frequently associated with the symptoms in the query from the websites found in the results for that query,” the spokesperson says. “We only show conditions that are mentioned in connection with the given query in at least 10 websites — and usually many more.”
Don’t forget to see the doctor.