Google Is Answering More Questions Before You Even Search
Google Now is a sign of things to come. The search giant wants to offer information before you ask for it; to predict your questions before they are posed. This is proven by its search answers: the box under the search box that presents a snippet Google’s automatically chosen as the best solution.
Google is expanding its database of quick-fix answers using something called Knowledge Graph. It’s a new take on the concept of “I’m Feeling Lucky”.
The Evolution of Knowledge Graph
The Knowledge Graph box was an experiment that Google placed into SERPs in June 2014. It initially presented simple answers. Over time, it started to present a longer answer with bullets. If the answer was too long, it was truncated with a note.
The best candidates seem to be ‘how to’ questions that require a sequence of steps that have to be carried out in order.
Underneath the answer Google selects, there’s a link to the article it came from. This isn’t necessarily the first result in the SERPs, but it could be the one Google’s determined is most relevant.
Will Knowledge Graph Last?
Google recently dropped another experiment, Authorship. Is Knowledge Graph another test that will be confined to the trash? We don’t know for sure, but it seems to reinforce the search engine’s quest to present high quality content quickly and efficiently.
Is It Scraping?
With Knowledge Graph, Google is essentially curating the web and selecting the best content on your behalf. It’s using a large chunk of valuable screen real estate to provide a summarised answer.
In a way, you could claim that it’s actually scraping content from results and republishing it. It will be hoping that sites who unwittingly supply this information will not complain, because they’ll benefit from that huge, prominent link.
At least, that’s what the sites will hope will happen. In the case of the shortest answers, searchers may never actually click on he link, and may start to rely on Google’s Knowledge Graph box as the destination point.
What’s your opinion? Do you think Google is stealing content, or putting users first? Tell us in the comments below.