How to Obtain Google Answer Boxes in Search Results



How to Provide Answers Visible in the Google Quick Answer Box Search ResultsHow to Obtain Google Answer Boxes in Visible Search Results

We are seeing a substantial rise in the number of Quick Answer Boxes served up by Google in search engine result pages (SERPs). This is about answering the user intent faster and is changing the scope of what defines SEO.

Google Answer Boxes help businesses provide immediate answers. Google’s quick answers try to match a search query directly on the results page to offer the individual conducting the search query an immediate and highly visible result that works across all devices. This opportunity offers businesses a chance to leap forward and gain success in SERPs that display immediate answers. By using microdata and JSON-LD markup, you can improve your chances to have your answers to user’s questions more visible.

What are Google Answer Boxes?

Answer boxes offer users immediate and easy-to-digest answers at the top of the search results with relevant information without the need to click and navigate to another website. The answers provided are pulled from high-ranking sites that Google trusts to offer the best and most accurate response.

Google answer boxes were first introduced in September of 2014 and are based on the Google Knowledge Graph. If we examine which sites are getting into the Google Answer Box, it seems to be determined based on the form of content created. Long-form content is not ideal for the Answer Box. Classification of data needs to be easily digestible by search machines, which schema structured data helps to accomplish. Pages that Google tends to choose for quick answers are high-authority pages with quality, well-structured and marked-up content that is clearly relevant and prepared to offer for a great user experience.

One factor that jumps out – Google rewards organized, easily accessible data on web pages that garner happier users. Staying on the sharp learning curve of SEO best practices for structured data can help you show up in Knowledge Graph-powered results and gain these coveted quick answer spots.

How Google Answer Boxes Differ From Other Featured Snippetsgoogle-quick-answer-how-to-clean-my-deck

Google is treating this feature a little different nowadays from when it first appeared. Initially, there was an outcry from some search professionals that felt the originator of the answer wasn’t given due credit. So, now Google provides a link at the bottom of the Answer Box to the source of the content when it is specific and has pulled information from another site. Often there is no image pulled; it is an undiluted simple and clear answer to a specific search query.

Place an emphasis on the questions prospective buyer’s need answers for in their purchasing journey. Test and correct Product Schema.

They are frequently more powerful. We are seeing click-through rates (CTR) between 15 to 30% on the link provided at the conclusion on the Answer Box. Even branded results typically don’t achieve such a high click-through rate, which highlights how success it can be to get into this form of a search result. Improved click-through rates lead to higher conversion rates and an increase in business revenue. So with such favorable CTR’s from Google Quick Answers, this feature can be identified as very desirable. The way to get in the Answer Box is primarily comes from one aspect – it is awarded to the site offering the best answer. This is what Google algorithm updates are about.

The saying that “Traffic is vanity; conversions are sanity” is often heard now. And these immediate answers to questions asked online are proving valuable to site conversions.

This article on Google Answer Boxes endeavors to help webmasters, SEO professionals and business owners get motivated and use current SEO structured data markup:

a. Improve existing web content contained in featured results

b. Provide a better layout structure for the answer provided.

c. Generate a new Quick Answer from current ranking content that falls short of providing results pages with an answer box.

We welcome your questions, experiences in generating quick answer boxes, and comments.

Interesting Statistics and Finds that Impact Google Quick Answer BoxesGoogle answer boxes for query "Google images"

Keith Goode: – 10.2 of the search queries now have fewer than 10 results on page one. Rather, What is being pushed forwward are news carousel results, universal results, the three pack, the Google Knowledge Graph with featured snippets and instant answers.

Stat Search Analytics: – Of the sites gaining answer boxes, 9.28 percent of commercial SERPs had featured snippets.
– The volume of many queries was significant and had very high “SERP value” ([CPC x Annual Search Traffic]) of over US$1m+
– 3 variants of featured snippets: paragraph, list (both numbered and bulleted) and table snippets
– In 23 percent of SERPs with both a featured snippet and a “people also ask or” PAA, the first answer was identical.

According to ininternetonline.com, “The number of results that had an answer box went from just over 20% in December 2014 to more than 30% in May 2016.

Quick Answers facilitate Google’s attempt to improve in offering quality user experiences; your brand needs visibility in this area to remain relevant.

Keith Goode made the comment on Search Talk Live, “I caution businesses from having a one-legged stool. Be in all of the areas that you need to be in order to drive traffic to yourself. Don’t just rely on your organic listing. Create content that really matters.”

Traditionally, many SEO’s approached creating a new web page from a keyword perspective. However, content writers should not be task driven to write content around a keyword. Rather, find out what conversations are going on. Write content based that is driven by users looking for answers. Don’t just fill in words around keywords. Supply what Internet users want. Today, semantic keyword mapping to content is more about mapping your website to tap into the intent of the web searcher who is showing buyer behavior and focusing on answering their queries.

Which Domains are Getting in the Answwer Box

Sites with a higher trust factor and have over 10 000 referring domains comprise precisely one half of all domains that earned answer boxes according to cognitiveseo.com. Razvan Gavrilas notes that a significant difference is found with a lot more answers (twice the number) achieved by domains with between 1 and 5 000 referring domains versus those with between 5 and 10 000 referring domains.

“That may very well be, though, due to the arbitrary split or due to a lot of the values being around the cutoff point. Despite this, however, the 1 K mark is a fairly good predictor: more than 80% of all answers come from places that have 1 000 referring domains or more. But that means there’s still a reasonable chance of popping up in answer boxes even with less than that”, he assesses.

A bit of the Quick Answer Feature’s History

Back in 2015, news about quick answers including the addition of Google showing action-oriented links, what we typically call calls-to-action, for some queries in the answers box displayed. Some paid marketers assessed that this happened more often for search queries that indicate an intent to purchase.

Google has placed a lot of effort into advancing use of the Quick Answer box in SERPs over the past few months. It has evoked mixed reactions from SEOs who see both the possible threats and likely gains obtainable. It pays to understand this double-edged sword.

The Google Knowledge Graph is credited for many of these new components on a search results page; the quick answers box is just one of those newer opportunities to be right in front of online audiences. Semantic markup for your web pages like that provided by Schema.org, is one tool most often used to communicate what your web pages are all about to search engines. This always follows the assumption that your webmaster has the basic SEO optimization tactics in place and correct.

ANSWERING “FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GOOGLE’S QUICK ANSWERS

QUESTION: What Does a Google Quick Answer Box Look Like?What does a Google Quick Answer Box look like?

ANSWER: Typically, the basic components that comprise a Google Answer Box are:

* Box outline

* Text

* Title

* Maybe an image

* URL

* Link: “About this result * Feedback”

QUESTION: What Triggers an Answer Box Being Display in SERPs?

ANSWER: While we may guess, it is best to use the answer provided by the search giant itself. “When a user asks a question in Google Search, we might show a summary of the answer in a special featured snippet block at the top of the search results page,” states Google.

QUESTION: How are Google Quick Answers Effecting SERPs for Brands?

ANSWER: When the Quick Answers feature was first introduced, some SEOs speculated as to its impact and whether or not many users might feel they have their answer right there and see no need to click through to the webpage. Google alone, as the major search player, is now rolling out something every few months that has potential implications on site traffic. Given that these answer boxes are displayed at the top of the page, they certainly nap attention.

“Wikipedia, for example, saw a drop in traffic that many attributed to the growth of Quick Answers. This is likely because the domain specializes in providing people with the type of rapid response that many can now receive right on the SERP,” states Search Engine Watch.

QUESTION: Why is Optimizing for this Feature Important?

ANSWER: People want immediate answers and this offers what they want very quickly. As the focus in Google Search continues to be about rewarding the intent of the web searcher, Google Answer Boxes are increasingly being displayed and significant in SERPs. Businesses who lag in optimizing their web content to offer up Quick Answers have a good chance of coming in alongside better-prepared sites, which may mean losing key traffic to others in their niche.

That being said, the websites that we manage who are being awarded these valued answered boxes are enjoying awesome results.

QUESTION: Does my Website need to be Highly Ranked in SERPs?

ANSWER: Yes, it is nice when GoogleBot doesn’t always favor sites in the number one position. We see them being pulled more from the best answer result within options versus the top position, although most quick answers seem to come from the first page of results or those within the top 5 results.

This appears to be a Google Answer Box, but what is surprising is that I DID NOT ask a question. I simply searched for “Google AdWords latest updates”, and immediately after a paid ad, an answer appears with the typical answer box frame and contains the latest posts from searchengineland.com on the topic. I would have expected Google’s own page listing it latest updates for AdWords. This proves the reach and value of optimizing your site for chances to get into this highly visible form of a SERP feature.

If reaching a #1 ranking seems to elude your site, the good news is that websites ranked in positions third or fourth are frequently awarded an answer box and are enjoying being catapulted front and center in this super visual manner. Even the font size that Google uses within the answer box is larger than typical results, which successfully commands the user’s attention to recognize it and can have a very positive impact on your site’s success in gaining relevant clicks.

Which Domains are Getting in the Answwer Box

Sites with a higher trust factor and have over 10 000 referring domains comprise precisely one half of all domains that earned answer boxes according to cognitiveseo.com. Razvan Gavrilas notes that a significant difference is found with a lot more answers (twice the number) achieved by domains with between 1 and 5 000 referring domains versus those with between 5 and 10 000 referring domains.

“That may very well be, though, due to the arbitrary split or due to a lot of the values being around the cutoff point. Despite this, however, the 1 K mark is a fairly good predictor: more than 80% of all answers come from places that have 1 000 referring domains or more. But that means there’s still a reasonable chance of popping up in answer boxes even with less than that”, he assesses.

QUESTION: How Often are Quick Answers Showing Up in SERPs?

ANSWER: “Within the sub-set of 2,000 How-To phrases, 60% produced Quick Answers, contributing to 84% share of voice with Quick Answer boxes for the main site and 98% including supporting sites,” according to Kirill Kronrod, a senior global SEO manager at Adobe Systems.

How Google ranks a web page is changing. Today, we hear more about the level of user engagement once on a particular web page for becoming a bigger factor. User reaction and onsite interactions are a huge element of what affirms the value of your content. When users stay on a webpage, take action, or navigate to another page on your site in a manner that portrays interest, your site may be attributed as an authoritative resource for the search terms that initially generated the site visit.

QUESTION: What About The Call-To-Action Link In Google Answers?

ANSWER: While it’s still a bit early to tell what may be prompting this, it seems logical that domains that are already trusted and have pages that rank high merit being favored.

“Page authority plays a significant role in being featured as a call-to-action link; top landing pages usually perform best, which is closely related to authority. The quantity and quality of links is a tipping point for deeper pages being featured. The presence of a “download” link on the page is not an influencer in some cases,” according to Columnist Jim Yu of BrightEdge.

Craft your new web content with a view of what your readers need to make a clear decision. When your product or services fits the world of urgent responses, such as those in medical practice, police protection, on-line sites staying up, etc., makes this an even higher SEO priority.

QUESTION: What does the Quick Answer Feature Necessitate for Mobile Marketers?

ANSWER: It’s critical in today’s competitive arena for digital success that marketers think about the context of their customer on the path to purchase: how fast do they need an answer, where they are searching from, what device they’re typically using, what their likely mindset is in that given micro-moment to engage them. Time pressure is an important factor for marketers to consider in the mix of prioritizing SEO tasks, as there are many, optimizing your top service and product pages for Google Quick Answer Boxes is particularly true for markets that offer solutions when immediacy in a key factor.

User decisions made on mobile devices fit the demand for on-the-go answers. Be there in the moment and you may well find that these individuals behind a search query are less likely to consider a larger number of options and product choices. Marketers should take this into account and aim to help people reach the quick answer that still provides the key factors for their decisions.

QUESTION: Which Business Sites Are Being Found in Quick Answers?

ANSWER: Notable commonalities that sites who have gained the answer box tend to share:

* Sites that have technical SEO issues resolved.

* Sites that see strong user engagement.

* Sites that offers content crafted to answer frequently asked questions.

* Sites that have a good page load speed.

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* Sites that are position well in SERPs and serve up location specific answers.

* Sites with a higher percentage of “how to” keywords.

* Sites that Google has attributed a level of trust to that has a sufficient level of referring domains.

* Sites that are already featured in Wikipedia

QUESTION: Are Google Answer Boxes Expanding to Include Video?Are Google Answer Boxes Expanding to Include Video?

The demand for fast, relevant answers found in trusted digital content has sky-rocketed upwards along with the increased use of mobile devices. Here is what the answer that I just got for “How to beat an egg?”

Wikipedia says, “Google provides an incentive system to motivate people to answer questions. It is based on assigning points for actions and a system of levels loosely based on the Russian system of academic degrees. An interesting feature of the incentive system is that Google’s reward for visiting is higher than for posting an answer.”

Today the new push is for website owners to answer user’s questions so GoogleBot can pull them from content search and serve them up in nifty quick answer box format. The whole science of how Google search works centers around when someone asks Google a question, and they instantly obtain an answer in SERPs. But a lot happens in the fraction of seconds between the time a search query was entered and when the searcher sees their quick answer in an outlined box format. Google offers a page on How Search Works that helps when attempting to follow the entire life of a search query, from the web, to crawling, indexing after a site search, to algorithmic rankings, and serving up quick answers, to fighting webspam. Google algorithms are constantly updated after being tweaked and tested. We can expect to see the Google commercialized answer box search algorithm continue to evolve. Providing super-quick answers to question like search queries with obvious needs for a single, specific answer remains a Google priority.

ADDITIONAL TIPS on HOW TO OPTIMIZE CONTENT TO GAIN RICH ANSWERS:

* Try to format your web content is the best possible manner to have a chance for results that could be chosen for the Answer Box.

* Google is more inclined to award sites that are marked-up with schema structured data code

* Start by optimizing your best content for Quick Answers.

* If you use additional mark-up on list items, like an h3 or h4 to introduce it, that works like another signal to add a summary to the answer provided.

Quick Answers Help to Resolve Customer’s Time Pressures

Time pressures seem to be escalating the easier it is to access additional information online. Who can’t relate to a situation in which our need for an immediate response or answer exceeds the amount of time we think we have. This adds stress to the individual in need. To help online buyers and users better manage stress, these quick answer boxes are part of the digital solution.

Time pressure narrows a prospective buyer’s focus, giving you and your message only a brief moment to nab their attention and be the business with the solution. When Internet users feel the crunch of time, they tend to focus primarily on the critical information needed for a decision and under-weighted all other criteria.

In another example of attention narrowing, consider if you are at a love one’s bedside in the middle of the night and want to check the reviews and availability of drug stores open in your area where you can fill a prescription. Given the late hour and urgency, your decision of where to fill may be more deliberate than if they weren’t having medical symptoms at the moment. More often than desktop searchers, mobile device users seeks quick, decisive information that appears authority and correct enough to offer a level of confidence needed to get things done and move on.

Quick Answers are Frequently Medical Search QueriesQuick Answers are Frequently Medical Search Queries

Currently, many of the search queries that are being answered in this manner are medically related search queries.

How to – “How to know when to go into the doctor?” or “How to eat to prevent cancer?”

What is – “What is the best way to stop a nose bleed?” or “What is the difference between Cerebrum and Cerebellum?”

How do – “How to I treat a severe headache?” or “How do I prevent foot cramps?”

Technical SEO Correctness Becomes More Important

Google is shrinking search results. Maybe that is due to an increase in smaller devices being used by web surfers. It may also be driven by an intent to reduce the amount of low-quality web content and duplicate content that has flooded too many SERPS. Google’s goal is to offer what does a better job of satisfying the searcher’s query and to reduce much of the rest that clutters and dilutes search results. And the Search giant may be becoming more picky and preferring sites whose technical aspects of their structured data markup are correct.

Technical SEO optimization is becoming more essentials. “Use schema markup to increase visibility for your site. The schema was developed as means of providing search engines with an optimal look at your site. It will help the search engines quickly interpret your material, which will aid Google in its quest to quickly pull answers from websites,” says Stone Temple Consulting.

“Adobe has shown a 17% incremental lift on topics on which it has secured the Quick Answer box, so the results contribute
millions of additional visitors to Adobe.com. Within the sub-set of 2,000 How-To phrases, 60% produced Quick Answers, contributing to 84% share of voice with Quick Answer boxes for the main site and 98% including supporting sites.” – Kirill Kronrod

“Time pressure narrows the consumer’s focus, giving the marketer only a brief moment to grab their attention and direct their choices. It’s critical for marketers to be there with their product or message when people are making decisions.” – Dan Ariely of Duke University

“The truth is, good or evil, it seems there to stay whether you like it or not, so your site is either in an answer box (earning more visibility and clicks) or below it (having even fewer chances to get at least any attention).” – Internet Marketing Ninjas

“Being on the Google’s answer box will do you a big favor, making you appear on Google’s first page not once, but twice. So it’s not just showing up in the results, it’s showing up in the answer box, which has a different status in the mind of the searcher. Being there can get a lot of SERP “landscape”, especially if you own some important keywords in your niche.” – Cognitive SEO

Services to get in Google Quick Answer Boxes

We are passionate about helping small business compete and win in visible search results by gaining a presence in Google Quick Answer Boxes. Empower your site visitors with an improved user experience by helping them quickly navigate to your relevant web pages from a Google quick answer box.

SUMMARY

Congratulations if you have made a decision to implement new structured data on your site. It gives you more control to create a much better experience for your site visitors at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Search intent differs from user to another search user and even the same individual at different stages in developing online relationships.

Visible data presented in a Google Quick Answer Result is so easy to read and engage, it is a very simplistic form of an answer. Some question who benefits from these immediate answers and if they should regard them as enhancement to results pages.

Jack Cooper offered some very good advice: “be sure to benchmark site performance before and after implementation and be wary of a reduce in user click-through rate. For example, a user may find your contact details without having to click-through to your site, which may results in fewer site visits. This can be seen as a positive as fewer clicks are required to access data, but be sure to research if that occurs to ensure there isn’t another issue.” I recommend reading Make Your Site Stand Out in SERPs With Rich Snippet Mark-Up.

As the news and adoption of this added feature spreads, more and more businesses are optimizing for the Knowledge Graph in general, with the goal of also gaining higher visibility in Google’s Quick Answers. To step out in as a leader in your niche, we can help you get started today!

Take action and learn more about our Marketing Services to Gain Success In SERPs by Generating Leads

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