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Do Google’s Direct Answers Improve Search Results?

Google Taps Squared Data to Deliver Answers in SERPs

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Last year at its Searchology event, Google introduced Google Squared, the company’s Labs project aimed at building collections of facts from the web for any topic specified by the user. A year later (to the day), Google announced that Squared is already being integrated into its search engine.

Do you find Google’s implementation of Squared data useful? Tell us what you think.

Google of course launched its newly redesigned search results pages to the masses recently, and within the options available in the new left panel is one called "something different". This appears to give you related search suggestions, but they’re actually culled from Squared.

The more interesting use of Squared in Google Search results, however, comes in the form of direct answers for applicable queries. "Often people search to find basic facts, such as [catherine zeta-jones date of birth]," explains Google’s John Provine. "Three months ago we began using Squared technology to highlight answers for these types of searches in snippets. Today we’re expanding that effort so that when you’re looking for this kind of simple fact in search, we give you more accurate answers right at the top of your results, sourced from across the web."

So for a great number of queries where a factual answer is the most appropriate result, you’re going to start seeing these. Google acknowledges that there may be mistakes out there, and each result of this type comes with a "show sources" link that you can use to see where the data is coming from.

Google Squared Data used in search results

"The sources list includes the relevant text from each page so you can quickly verify whether the webpages seem reputable and whether our algorithms correctly interpreted the context of the answer," says Provine. "If you see a mistake, please let us know by clicking on the ‘Feedback’ link so we can make it better."

Google has made sure that these answers are optimized to work with mobile browsers, because the company anticipates a lot of queries that would summon them will be made by people "on the go."

Google said the roll out of both new features would be complete by the end of the week.

While this is not the first time Google has given direct answers in search results, it does appear that more users will see more of this type of result.

We’re alreaady getting some interesting comments around Google’s new features. Most seem to generally agree that users will benefit from instant answers (understandably, as that is less clicking around that has to occur, provided that the answers are obviously correct).

Some think Google is chipping away at the need to visit other sites, a point that has been made in the past, mostly based on the company’s local Place Pages.

What is your take? Do you want instant answers from Google? Do you want to see this type of result expanded into more categories? Comment here.

Do Google’s Direct Answers Improve Search Results?


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  • Che

    Google needs to get its act together before Bing, Facebook or Yahoo wise up and kick their tail. Google is a mess at this moment. Search results are irrelevant. Yahoo provide more relevant results.

  • http://www.lexolution.in/blog Maneet

    I dont see this as irrelevant. There has been quite sometimes when I needed to browse through the search results.. open up a few links.. scroll down the contents to finally find the exact bit of information I was looking for. This is gonna be great for objective searches!

  • http://www.facebook.com/HowToGenerateMoreBusinessOnline matt

    Relevance is the most important part of conversion, while this may take away clicks from websites in search results it will help keep clicks to your site relevant. It’s an important lesson to learn that you don’t want just traffic, you want GOOD traffic.

    Want to know the secrets of website conversion? We compiled the best posts on the net into our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/HowToGenerateMoreBusinessOnline

  • Shawn

    What a way to kill websites. Google has to go. They are really working very hard at it lately.

  • http://www.superfloorcoat.com Concrete Floor Coatings

    Searching for specific fact answers is fine!, but don’t clutter the search page into another Yahoo page. Still keep it relevant & the page clean for the visitors that wants laser answer on loan modification or epoxy paint.

  • http://lanta-krabi.blogspot.com/ Lanta

    Google is become a MFA site now with scraping content and creating an on-the-fly page. It`s becoming the very thing it tries to stop.

    If they keep going in this direction with giving the user what they want on the page then websites will see less and less traffic. Some webmasters may even block gbot and and starve it of content. It is only down hill from there.

    Saying all that Squared is a great tool.

  • http://www.holocaustinfo.net Guest

    Google is evil. Its goal is total world domination. I wish we could find a better alternative. Well, as my start page and search engine I use http://www.ixquick.com/

    :)

    BB

    • http://www.digitalflydesigns.com Digital Fly Designs

      Remember there will always be someone below you hating who you are and someone above you worrying, well Google only has the hater problem, Oh and also http://www.ixquick.com/ is powered by Google for the one who said Google is evil, you are still supporting them lol

  • http://abay.co.il/blog/ Armand – ????? ??????? ????

    facebook is in her back with new search feature

  • http://www.mimimrp.com Mike

    When I enter a correctly formatted question into a search ‘box’ it is nice to get results that actually answer that question rather than a bunch of unrelated pages which just happen to contain ‘some’ of the ‘keywords’ somewhere/anywhere/in any order in the page.

  • http://www.slotbonuses.info/ slotfan

    Google would love for you to think that they have the Answers to everything you need. The sad truth is that they do. And it is of coruse another attempt to get more business from other websites like ‘how to’ and incorporate content into their own site.

  • http://mysite.verizon.net/resp8kqt/kissimmee_grand_palms_near_disney/index.html nima

    Google search is very efficient. I have enjoyed searching for thing and found the search very useful. Google is very vast and I do not think yahoo can kick their tail.

    http://mysite.verizon.net/resp8kqt/kissimmee_grand_palms_near_disney/index.html

    • LOL

      Have you searched google lately? It’s a total mess. A search for ladies underwear brings you Hugo Chavez. Don’t go searching for that silly. Just pointing out that Google is an irrelevant piece of crap.

      http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4132195-4-30.htm

  • http://w1z111-campfirecontent.blogspot.com w1z111

    I have used Google-Squared for a number of research projects, and I find it to be a very useful tool for that. Not to say that it’s perfect; but it offers something “more” in the otherwise mundane world of search engine flexibility. I’ve found that playing around with search syntax, operators, and the like makes quite a difference in the results data. It’s a bit like playing one of those “find-the-key-to-unlock-the-treasures” games, to me. Once the right search terms are there, the data seems to “fill in” just what I’m seeking. It takes practice, but it’s fun and worthwhile, in my opinion. See some things I’ve written about this at: http://www.ehow.com/how_5850837_use-google_squared-research.html. Also, here’s a couple links to some Google-Squares I’ve built…

    Automotive recall information: http://www.google.com/squared/table/agp248quW11pmbgnkZV7fDOg
    Writer resources: http://www.google.com/squared/table/agTJEV71MlSwkEaMtO11b3cQ
    Chemical food additives: http://www.google.com/squared/table/agJJR6uFDZxaro9vldvZAOiQ
    And, here’s one that used the following search term configuration: “food*******|additives*******|chemicals*******|diet*******|pollutants******* (~health**~hazards*******)|(~body-~burden***)”: http://www.google.com/squared/table/agb8sP6rEUM3llUoZSJwnKtQ

    Enjoy!

  • http://movies.ewebtutorial.com/ Mohit

    very helpful article…

  • http://www.PjDesignsAndConcepts.com Cheap Web Designs

    Honestly it really doesnt matter what other companies do. They can spend 100 million on marketing and it still wont catch up to google (bing spent 100 million). Google dominates, and when it takes out its bucks for marketing all others will fail. Bing, yes looks good but still does not provide the same results as google. Google is still number one and will be number one they have the highest market share and wont give that up. Over the years I have seen companies come and go. But only one stay GOOGLE. Even msn sucks thats why they relaunched bing, instead of live.com……

    GOOGLE WE LOVE You.

    PJ Dhanoa

  • Guest

    Google is being selfish. They want to start the visitor at their site and end their journey at their site. They dont to share them with other sites. So much in the name of relevency and accurate results.

    • susan-g

      Google allows old dead links, invasion of privacy, cyber stalking, fraud slander search result postings and false ad words accounts that dont work. Use their free products but boycott any Google purchases as they are being sued all the time with people winning. Just search “google being sued” in any search engine and see tons of cases.

  • http://www.searchenginerankingreport.org Soul Paten

    This is quite irrelevant. Google is just doing their function to the searchers and advertisers as well. Google is just showing the results of Optimization that optimizers just set to them.

  • http://gogetitnow.biz GoGetitnow.biz

    When it comes to delivering search results for people searching radio and television along with movies Google achieved its goals. The top media entertainer is getting more visibility. http://gogetitnow.biz Plus theres a 55″ samsung tv right now to giveaway.

  • http://www.signature.eu.com signature website marketing

    Google are sticking to what they know, so I think it’s too early to rubbish this new add on. When you control 80+% of the search market you can be accused of being a bit complacent. Google are always looking to improve search.

  • http://q3tech.com ssteve

    We do get effective results with the hepl of google even the simple facts..But it can always get better!!
    You can get more at http://blogs.q3tech.com

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