An introduction to Google Answer Box

An introduction to Google Answer Box Banner

So have you ever found yourself starting to type a random question into Google and mid-way through been presented with the exact answer that you were looking for?

Don’t worry; this isn’t any kind of black magic or anybody tapping into your search engine history. As a matter of fact, it’s actually a very powerful piece of technology developed by Google which has appropriately been named ‘Google Answer Box’.

In our latest Cheshire Web Design blog, we will explain how Google Answer Box works, how it has evolved from Google Knowledge Graph and most importantly how you can optimize content by using Google Answer Box has an example.

Google Answer Box in action.

Let’s try searching for a couple of common questions and let’s see how Google responds…

Example of Google Answer Box

As you can see from the various examples I have given you, Google presents the information in a variety of ways depending on where Google gathers the source of information from and the source structures the content. As you can see from the various examples I have given you, Google presents the information in a variety of ways depending on where Google not only gathers the source of information but how the source structures the information which could be a numbered or bullet point list or an extract from a Wikipedia entry.

Google Answer Box Pancakes Example

What’s also interesting to see is Google doesn’t always extract the source from the top ranking results each time. As you can see from the examples, the credited source actually ranks position 2.

Google Answer Box Search Engine Example

Occasionally, Google can provide the wrong source of information and recognises that they need to be told if information is incorrect. As you can see, users can provide feedback for every search a Google Answer Box query so it can continue to try and provide the most accurate information always.

Google Knowledge Graph

Google Answer Box is actually an evolution of Google Knowledge Graph in Google’s attempts to return the most useful, appropriate and relevant information to users for any given query. With such an increase in mobile and device search, Google want to try and capitalise this by providing all the information users will need with ever needing to navigate away to other websites or search engines.

Launched in May 2012, Google Knowledge Graph is a system that understands facts about a number of categories and how they are all connected. According to Search Engine Land, Google claim it has compiled over 3.5 million facts which include information about and relationships between 50 million other items such as persons, places and things including…

  • Actors, Directors, Movies
  • Art Works & Museums
  • Cities & Countries
  • Islands, Lakes, Lighthouses
  • Music Albums & Music Groups
  • Planets & Spacecraft
  • Roller Coasters & Skyscrapers
  • Sports Teams

How to optimize your content for Google Answer Box

According to AJ Kohn, a leading authority who coined the acronym KGO (“Knowledge Graph Optimization”) back in March 2014, Google actually look for a number of things before considering any website as a source of information which include the following;

  • Employing structured data when appropriate
  • Using nouns (i.e., entities) in your writing when it’s natural to do so
  • Linking to relevant sites
  • Being featured in Wikipedia

Let’s be realistic, the chances of writing the odd blog about Cheshire Web Design will hardly make anybody an authoritative that Google will turn to for answers. However, if you take away what Google wants by seeking organized, easily accessible content into practice, by implementing these SEO practices, you will start to see a much more organic effect in local search.

  • Create a topic that’s interesting for your readers
  • Avoid White Hat techniques such as ‘Keyword Stuffing’
  • Implement best SEO practices such as Meta Data, Headings, Alternative Text & URL Structure
  • Present clear answers “How To…” “What is”
  • User Experience Page Structure

The Conclusion

With Google Answer Box and Google Knowledge Graph still somewhat an unknown quantity, there are no definitive guidelines to follow but there are positive signs of evolution. By using what we know about how Google Answer Box knows, we can start to write tailored content that will be best optimized by Google.