Content Marketing 101

What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

Have you noticed a dip in traffic from search lately? While it could be the fault of assorted penalties, Pandas, Penguins, and Hummingbirds, but it could also be that Google just doesn’t need to send traffic to your website to provide certain pieces of information anymore. Instead, they’re answering a lot of questions on the search results page itself.

Let’s take a look at some of the search queries that Google is stealing the spotlight from, and what it means for you as a content creator.

What is Today’s Forecast?

The result provided for today’s weather forecast is one of the more sophisticated Google direct answers.

google weather search What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

(Screenshot taken 21/11/2013 of www.google.com)

Sure, The Weather Channel is still number one. But unless you need more information, there’s no need to go there with Google’s detailed answer widget that outranks everyone. It allows you to flip through the seven-day forecast and see the hourly temperature, precipitation, and wind details. The fact that Google’s widget is much easier to use than The Weather Channel mobile site doesn’t hurt either.

What is… Anything?

Have you been trying to rank for content that starts with what is? If it’s a one to two word phrase, Google has already provided the answer with their Web Definitions.

google definitions What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

(Screenshot taken 21/11/2013 of www.google.com)

Some web definitions even come with built in translation and usage trends.

google definitions 2 What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

(Screenshot taken 21/11/2013 of www.google.com)

The latter is quite interesting as they show mentions from as far back as the 1800’s based on the number of books using the term searched. You can even click on the graph to see the Google books Ngram Viewer for more information.

google books ngram viewer What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

(Screenshot taken 21/11/2013 of www.google.com)

How Much Is… Anything?

What Is My IP used to be a very convenient website to visit when, for whatever reason, you needed to know your IP address. But now, Google can answer that in a matter of seconds.

google ip address What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

(Screenshot taken 21/11/2013 of www.google.com)

Need to know the current value of the US Dollar in the country you are traveling to? Google has that covered, along with a trending graph to show you whether you picked a good or bad time to make the trip.

google currencty exchange What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

(Screenshot taken 21/11/2013 of www.google.com)

Google also does unit conversions. No more needing to click through to a website to find out if a kilometer is greater than a mile or how many ounces are in a cup. They don’t get as granular as Wolfram Alpha, but they are working on it.

google unit conversion What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

(Screenshot taken 21/11/2013 of www.google.com)

The Point?

So, where am I going with this?  If you’re creating content, you have a competitor bigger than Wikipedia and Yahoo Answers, and it’s Google! Google is expanding their knowledge graph, direct answer, web definitions, and oneboxes on a regular basis. You can’t just create content based on this.

google keyword planner What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

(Screenshot taken xx/xx/xxxx of adwords.google.com)

If you do, this will ultimately outrank you. Even you Mashable!

google definitions 3 What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

(Screenshot taken 21/11/2013 of www.google.com)

It’s always been important to find out if you’re competing against Wikipedia and other high authority knowledge providers when creating a piece of content, but at least if you were second you weren’t halfway down the page. Now you are, especially if the searcher is on a mobile device, has a low resolution, or clicks that down arrow for more information.

The Way to Win Traffic

The way to grab attention from Google’s direct answers is to provide more when more is needed. Instead of having a piece of content that tells someone what a hashtag is, rank well for a piece of content that tells people the benefits of using a hashtag, how to use a hashtag, how to measure analytics for hashtag usage, and so on. Provide more value than Google does to increase the odds that you will still get a click, even if you are further down the page.

How do you compete with Google direct answers?

 

Featured Image Credit: Screenshot taken 22/11/2013 of www.google.com

02398b99be96fe167c6424572f97deb5 64 What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?
Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of India’s leading search marketing agency PageTraffic. You can follow him at twitter @navneetkaushal.
02398b99be96fe167c6424572f97deb5 64 What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?
02398b99be96fe167c6424572f97deb5 64 What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

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6 thoughts on “What Do Google Answers Mean for Content Creators?

  1. Awesome list of search queries with results… day by day google is improving their search and focusing more on quality content.. I am sure with these crap and Low Quality website will be kicked off.. if the user get the clean and clear search of their queries even with cool interface just typing the few keywords.. that is really really awesome..

  2. Hi,

    This trend is not new. I think these ‘new’ are not as new. In fact, if you type queries for local areas, you might end up seeing Quora or Yahoo answers as well. Depends how ‘conversational’ are you in your queries !

    Thanks,

  3. we are badly hit by Penguin update happened on Oct 4 , 213 . It thrown our website YoginetIndia.com deep back on 50th page. We started removing all unwanted links also started Disowe if we can’t remove them.

    We also started changing Anchor tags everywhere so that its linked vis Brand Name or Image based.
    Plz anyone guide should we also make google reconsideration. We can’t see any improvement .
    Plz advice.

  4. Great post and something that I think we are all aware of but may not have thought about as much as we should have.

    This is only going to get worse as well so people really need to become smarter with content instead of getting lost in the noise.