In our last post, we discussed Google’s Knowledge Graph. While it’s arguably the most impactful item showcased on Google’s search results pages, there are other recent developments worth mentioning. Google has been quite innovative in responding to queries with different types of graphical search results, most notably how they have dealt with the increasing popularity of voice search.
Let’s take a look so you understand how Google’s methods of answering questions, based on how they are asked, is meeting people’s expectations much more effectively than in the past.
Also known as Instant Answers, these typically answer short factual questions. They’re answered immediately, using content that is part of the public domain. Think spitfire answers.
Example question: How far away is the moon?
Featured snippets are graphical search results which provide answers in a special box at the top of the search results page. The featured snippets eliminate the need to click through and research the answer. They appear for certain questions, especially those that start with “how do I,” “what is” or “why is”. Answers come in different forms with the intent to make a searcher’s life easier by presenting them with exactly what they’re looking. They might be a paragraph, a list, a table or a video.
Google sources many of these snippets from simple, short, straight-forward FAQs from relevant websites. Keep this in mind creating content for your site. In the end, however, Google programmatically determines the results they feature.
Here’s an example of a numbered list result for a recipe, based on a “How do I…” question:
And here’s an example of a video result based on a “How do I…” question:
Featured snippets are extremely valuable. People are almost twice as likely to click this box than the first position in the search results. Further, they are appearing more and more frequently with the growth of voice search. Google continues to expand and diversify the types of questions answered in featured snippets. For example, they’ve moved into the local job search category.
While you can’t currently place your own snippets, there are a few tips to get showcased such as providing the ideal length of copy, proper HTML tags and formatting, and more as you develop your content.
People Also Ask
These frequently appear beneath a Featured Snippet and provide additional information relevant to a search. This feature helps the curious dive deeper into their search. A query for “How do I get a passport?” results in a Featured Snippet followed by this:
Video & Image Carousels
Google has completely changed their format for showcasing information in graphical search results. They now include videos and images, a shift away from the blue text results that we’re all used to seeing. In order for your information to appear in the video and image carousels, you must adhere to Google’s requirements. We will discuss “structured data” in a later post.
These carousels compete solely with organic (unpaid) results. Both images and videos must be optimized to appear. Once again, Google determines results, but sources are the Knowledge Graph, Google’s own database, Wikipedia and others. The triggers are search query activity and click-throughs.
Here’s a video carousel example from a search for the Wall Street Journal:
How Belgrave Can Help
As always, we’re here to help! Maybe you’re starting to understand just how much we enjoy learning about the newest trends in marketing. And then leveraging these trends to drive our clients’ bottom lines.
Reach out if you’d like us to help you implement any of these new strategies.