Showing posts with label SERPs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SERPs. Show all posts

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Google Highlights Answers in Search Results

Google has launched a new feature for search called "answer highlighting." This is based on Google Squared, Google's structured data project announced last year at the company's Searchology event. What it does is highlight answers to applicable queries within the search snippet.

For example, if the query is "empire state height," it will bold the actual answer for that, in addition to the words used in the query. Previously, it would have only bolded those words.

"Most information on the web is unstructured. For example, blogs integrate paragraphs of text, videos and images in ways that don't follow simple rules. Product review sites each have their own formats, rating scales and categories. Unstructured data is difficult for a computer to interpret, which means that we humans still have to do a fair amount of work to synthesize and understand information on the web," says Google. "Google Squared is one of our early efforts to automatically identify and extract structured data from across the Internet. We've been making progress, and today the research behind Google Squared is, for the first time, making search better for everyone with a new feature called 'answer highlighting.'"

Don't expect answer highlighting to be present in all search results, because in many cases, it just doesn't make sense. You are more likely to come across it when there are specific answers or data involved.

Google also launched rich snippets for events today. To learn more about the RDFa, which helps Google find content for rich snippets. Google has been using rich snippets for things like product reviews, and people information, but now events will sometimes utilize them. For example, if you search for a concert venue, you may see a few upcoming concerts listed.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Google's Matt Cutts on .com Relevancy in UK

Some UK Google users have noticed that search results pages are showing more results from .com sites these days, than in the past. They are used to sites getting better rank, and assuming that they are more relevant to their geographic location.

Certainly in some cases the site would be more relevant to a UK searcher, but that is not always the case. Google's Matt Cutts has posted a video in which he answers a question on this subject from a user. The question was:

Why are the UK SERPS still really poor with irrelevant non UK sites (US/Aus/NZ) ranking very high on since early June?
Cutts says it is true that searchers in the UK will see more .com results, and that is simply a product of Google getting better at determining geographic relevancy.

As Google gets better, they're more willing to show .com results if they're relevant to the country. "If the best result for a British searcher is something that ends in .com, we still want to show that to that British searcher," says Cutts.

According to Cutts, this is a change that Google will not likely reverse, although he does encourage users to let them know if they see such results that aren't relevant, because they would want to improve this.

The bottom line is that Google is just learning more these days about what sites are associated with what countries, and they're better at detecting it. The goal is to supply relevant results.

As a bonus, Cutts posted to his blog that he's already received some criticism about his answer in the above video and responded:

There’s a couple effects going on:

- first, we’ve been making changes that make it much more likely to see .coms in the UK. I’d say that’s 80-90% of the changes that people are seeing. Most of the generic TLDs (.com, .net, etc.) that are showing up now are .com sites like and that are relevant to the UK even though they don’t end in a

- I’ve been following some of the examples people have pointed out. I remember in particular was mentioned and that probably is off-topic for the UK. I dug into that one, and it was an unrelated ranking experiment that was going on that we changed.