Digging into Googles Rich Answer Vault

November 4, 2015

Google has evolved from entering precise keywords into the search engine to inputting random questions, complete with question mark.  Google has gone beyond answering questions and keyword queries.  Directly within search results for over a year now, Google has included content referred to as “rich answers,” meaning answers to search queries without having to click through to a Web site.  Stone Temple Consulting was curious how much people were actually using rich answers, how they worked, and how can they benefit their clients.  In December 2014 and July 2015, they ran a series of tests and “Rich Answers Are On The Rise!” discusses the results.

Using the same data sets for both trials, Stone Temple Consulting discovered that use of Google rich answers significantly grew in the first half of 2015, as did the use of labeling the rich answers with titles, and using images with them.  The data might be a skewed in favor of the actual usage of rich answers, because:

“Bear in mind that the selected query set focused on questions that we thought had a strong chance of generating a rich answer. The great majority of questions are not likely to do so. As a result, when we say 31.2 percent of the queries we tested generated a rich answer, the percentage of all search queries that would do so is much lower.”

After a short discussion about the different type of rich answers Google uses and how those different types of answers grew.  One conclusion that can be drawn from the types of rich answers is that people are steadily relying more and more on one tool to find all of their information from a basic research question to buying a plane ticket.

Whitney Grace, November 4, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


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