Google Direct Answers & Your Market



Austin Walk






How Did Bruce Lee Die?

Some of our clients have recently started to notice an increase in direct answer results at the top of their organic search results. Google the phrase – what is [insert word here] – and more than likely you’ll see embedded text, straight from Google. This is called Direct Answers, or an answer box, by Google, and offers searchers instant information, without clicking into results. Some critics are arguing that Google is simply storing content from around the web, and stealing your organic real estate. Perhaps. We don’t know for sure. But as a Marketing Manager, here are four things you should know about Google Direct Answers:

1. Direct Answers will not kill SEO or SEM. Don’t throw away your marketing budget in hopeless despair.

2. Direct Answers really only steal small amounts of search traffic, as most search traffic is a complex, multi-search process.

3. Often times Direct Answers will only show partial content from a source, then link to that source underneath. You should work on developing authoritative content which Google can use in their Direct Answer results.

4. Google still is, and will always be, most focused on one thing:  A relevant, optimal user experience.

The takeaway from Google’s update to a new, more equipped search engine is inspiring to us at Simple Science. In March, at SMX West, Google’s Amit Singhal was asked about their scrapping behavior as they pull content and feed it in their Direct Answers. His response, to us, was refreshing. He said Google is like a swiss army knife, trying to offer users every tool they might need for a quick, efficient job. Sometimes, when you’re removing a screw, or sawing something, you don’t need a screwdriver, or a saw… a swiss army knife will suffice. But for bigger jobs, you obviously need your tools. Google, in attempt to enhance and optimize searchers time and results on the web, is trying to offer this tool. They’re taking an already amazing knife, and constantly adding tools to give its users a better experience. If Google, in all their grandeur and glory is continually refining and bettering their product, should we not be doing the same? Whatever your product, whatever your content, whatever your message… think of your customer, think of your market, and make it better.