Search giant Google has begun testing ‘people cards’, a form of virtual business card that appears in the search results when a user searches for someone’s name.
The trial is rolling out in India and is giving individuals the opportunity to highlight themselves within the search results in new way. As an individual, it can often be tricky to gain a presence, particularly for those who aren’t famous, or for those who have a common name shared with a lot of people. Whereas for searchers, it’s challenging to collate information about an individual without a strong online presence.
Google made the announcement on its Google India Blog on Tuesday. It explains what a people card is and what information will be held on them. They have been designed with business professionals, entrepreneurs, influencers, freelancers and job hunters in mind, particularly those looking to increase their online presence.
The cards can include a link to a website, social media links and any other information the card creator would like people to know about them. This could include educational information, job title, industry or even a mini bio. It is also possible to add an image to the card. People are not required to include or display their phone number, but Google will need this for authentication reasons.
When searching for an individual within Google, should that person have a people card, the searcher will be presented with a module detailing the person’s card. This can then be clicked on to take the searcher into the full card. If the name being searched for brings back entries for multiple people of the same name, then multiple modules will appear for searchers to distinguish between the individuals and select the one they were looking for.
Those who have access to the trial will be able to add a people card by conducting a Google search for their name or by searching the query “add me to Search” whilst logged into the Google account that contains the information they wish to appear on the card.
The user will be in control of how much information is put on the card, although Google notes that the more information included, the easier it will be to be found. It will also implement strict quality control procedures to prevent people from setting up cards on behalf of other people and filling it with misinformation and spam.
Until the test is complete, it will not be known whether the trial will be extended to other territories or rolled out on a wider scale.
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