Google to collaborate with news agencies to show tabular data in Search results

One of the organisations that Google is working with to improve data search results is ProPublica.


Google is now working with a number of news organisations in order to improve how tabular data appears in Google Search, so that it can be easier for everyone to find data that they’re looking for within the search result itself.

According to Google, the idea is that it should be a lot easier to discover data that a lot of these news organisations produce and then surface it in an easy to read format on the company’s search results pages.

There is a lot of data out there, and according to a study that was done by the Google News Lab, over half of all the newsrooms in the world have a dedicated data journalist, who works to make sense of all that data.

 Google to collaborate with news agencies to show tabular data in Search results

Structured Data on Google Search. Image: Google Blog

It can be difficult for Google Search to detect and understand all the data and present it in the best possible way. Collaborating with news organisations can help make the search results show up in a readable manner.

Google is working with a couple of news organisations, including ProPublica. Together they will produce what is called ‘structured data’ in the format that is needed for Google’s search index.

Google does not alter the way this data is presented though, “News organisations add the structured data to their existing HTML of a page, which means that news organisations can still control how their tables are presented to readers.”

“If we can make the data we’ve worked hard to collect and prepare available to people at the very moment when they’re researching a big life decision, and thereby help them make the best decision they can, it’s an absolute no-brainer for us. And the code is trivial to add,” says Scott Klein who is the deputy managing editor at ProPublica.

Google already indexes data that it finds online, but this is the first time it is consciously putting in place a system to include journalism projects as well, which is a good sign.


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