The Growth Of Google Direct Answers Danny Sullivan Founding Editor, MarketingLand.com & SearchEngineLand.com @DannySullivan
A Quick History Of Direct Answers
Direct Answers Aren’t New & Google Didn’t Start Them
Some Early History Of Direct Answers AltaVista Shortcuts: In 2002, provided links to weather, stock quotes and more Yahoo Shortcuts: In 2003, similar to AltaVista with weather, quotes, more Google: In 2005, added weather then “Google Q&A” with fast facts on celebrities, planets, movies and more Historic & current examples drawn from Google Direct Answers, Search Engine Land’s archive of stories on the topic...
2007: Google Launches The “Plus Box”
2007: Flight Tracking Takes Off
2008: Olympics Information
2009: Was That An Earthquake?
2009: Sports Results
2010: “Answer Highlighting” In Snippets
2010: What Time Is The Super Bowl?
2010: More Facts From “Google Squared”
2010: Suicide Prevention (& Why Direct Answers Are Great)
2011: Snow Report
2013: March Madness
2014: Direct Answers Go BIG
Structured Snippets Google Structured Snippets Officially Live In Search Results, Search Engine Land, Sept. 2014
Direct Answers Now Appear More Often
Now In Nearly 4% Of All Queries, According To MozCast Source: MozCast SERP Features Graph
Concerns Over Credit
Are You Thinking WTF Google?
Sourcing The Sources Some answers done through partnerships; menus, for example, from third-party provider Others are just because facts is facts, says Google… When Google Shows A Source Or Credit For Quick Answers & Knowledge Graph, Search Engine Land, Sept. 2014
So Direct Answers Will Kill SEO?
Stone Temple Study: Links Are Often Provided The Great Knowledge Box Showdown: Google Now vs. Siri vs. Cortana, Stone Temple Consulting
But Time At Google Itself Is Up Search Engines Keep Searchers Longer Before Referring Traffic To Web SitesMediaPost, Sept. 2014
Not All Steps Provided The Great Knowledge Box Showdown: Google Now vs. Siri vs. Cortana, Stone Temple Consulting
Google Mines Answers From Others, Then Stores Them More Google Answer Boxes, with Bonus Experiment!Moz, Oct. 2014
SEO Is Dead!
You Know Nothing, Google! Photo of Ygritte from HBO –Watch Game Of Thrones!
Reasons To Relax Google isn’t perfect, can’t turn everything into direct answers Direct answers still small, single percentage amount of searches Many searches are complex in nature or multi-session Publishers aren’t reporting major traffic drops But stay tuned -- concerns remain & people are watching to see if Google maintains search engine “balancing act,” especially if the Knowledge Vault really does come
Things To Do Don’t like? Nosnippets tag is about the only option Want? Put more information in tables for structured snippets As always, be the essential answer Google avoid pointing to And keep on SEOing, our Periodic Table Of SEO is a good start