Google Answerbox

David Kusserow

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The Google Answerbox is a featured snippet that presents an encyclopedia-like answer to a precise search query. The answer is limited in its characters and thus helps searchers quickly and efficiently without having to leave Google search.

Definition

Google’s Answerbox is a so-called Featured Snippet that is displayed above the regular search results. This particularly prominent position is also called position 0. The users of the search engine can hardly overlook this answer box and therefore an intense competition has arisen among the website operators who can present their content on this position.

Answerbox

How does an answer box come about?

As soon as a user confronts the Google search engine with a question, the Google algorithm tries to find the best possible answer and present it in the first place on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). With the introduction of the Featured Snippet, Google goes one step further.

Today, when Google is asked to find a specific answer to a term or issue, the search engine tries to find an answer in the indexed web pages and present the best answer directly. In this way, the user should findthe answer to his search directly on Google and not have to call up another page at all.

There is no way for website owners to mark information for display as a featured snippet. Google’s crawlers read the information on a web page and evaluate relevant sections as possible candidates for the Answerbox.

Our tip: If you don’t want your page to be pulled for featured snippets, you can add the line <meta name=”googlebot” content=”nosnippet”> in the header in the source code.

The Answerbox is available in three variants

Google can present you with Featured Snippets in three different guises.

  • Text modules: In response to a query about a term definition, for example, you are usually presented with a text module of a few lines. This is then a short text that offers you a definition.
  • Tables: When you search for data on a subject for which different values may be relevant, a table appears as an answer box.
  • Videos: For example, when you search for a movie, Google now shows you the trailer as a video. Google uses the uploads of its subsidiary YouTube for this purpose.

How does Answerbox benefit you in your search engine optimization?

This Google feature is still relatively new and it’s not yet clear how much the Answerbox benefits search engine optimization. Most likely, prominently displaying the content as a particularly good search result is helpful because Google shows its users that they can trust the content on that page. This is especially helpful if your page is not presented at the top of organic hits. Then your user already knows the website and clicks on the page despite the lower rank on the SERPs because he already got to know it.

How can you make it to the answer box?

  1. Check which search queries are answered with a featured snippet. Do you offer similar content that doesn’t generate an Answerbox yet?
  2. What content do existing answer boxes provide and can you perhaps produce better?
  3. Work on your OnPage optimization. By placing in the appropriate questions and keywords in your headlines , you can increase your chances of Google showing your content as a featured snippet when one of your headlines is typed into the search box by a user.
  4. Write concise texts: Instead of formulated texts, the format of an encyclopedia entry is suitable for the Answerbox – exactly such an article is what a user is looking for with a precise search query.

Conclusion

Google’s Answerbox is primarily a service provided by the Internet giant to its users. When asked a precise question, Google wants to be able to provide an equally precise answer. Because the answer box is presented at the most prominent position of the SERPs, it jumps directly into the user’s eye – a good position to present your own website. Even though you don’t automatically drive more organic traffic to your site with featured snippets, you still increase the trust Google users have in your site.

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