With the Google News Initiative announced earlier this year, the company is working to support journalism with features throughout News, YouTube, and of course Search. A new feature today for the latter product will display data tables right at the top of result pages.
After working with 30 of the top data journalists in the world, Google will begin displaying data tables right in Search results. This requires some work on the part of publishers as detecting, understanding, and displaying tables as relevant results isn’t an easy task for Google.
Sites will need to add additional structured data to datasets to help Google identify the table for Search. In one example from ProPublica, Google Search will directly display a specific line of a table with monetary figures as the first entry.
Previously, only a text description starting at the top of the page was available, while users can now get the results immediately, with a link to open the full page at the bottom of the graph.
Google notes that there will be no impact to how the original table appears on the original site as part of this Search accommodation. More developer documentation is available here.
News organizations add the structured data to their existing html of a page, which means that news organizations can still control how their tables are presented to readers.