We all know that the team over at Google do a fantastic job. They currently hold more than 95% of the market share for search engines and bring in an enormous amount of money per quarter via adverts. However, their latest tests show us that they are not just about delivering adverts to customers. Google actually care about user experience too.
Their test has involved removing all search results from certain queries. YES, you read that correctly, they have removed all of the search results. Instead, they have added a “view all results” button and provided a knowledge box answer to your question. Meaning a user can come to Google, make their search and get their answer without seeing a single website listed.
Before you all panic and go over to check if your keywords are affected, we must point out that this is very specific. This test is hitting search queries that have definite answers only. By that we mean, if you search for the time in a particular area or what 2 multiplied by 2 is, you get your answer.
We suspect, on the whole, it will mean very little for the majority of websites out there. If you sell online, even if you sell clocks or calculators, you’re likely to still get traffic from other phrases. The only websites who appear to rank for these phrases, provide other information and background to the answers. If your readers want this information, then they will still go looking for it.
In short no! Ok, so the knowledge box has been “stealing” traffic for a number of years now. However, not all answer the question and a few have very poor information. So much so that Google is fully aware, many people click numerous answers looking for the information. Unless Google goes about trying to answer each individual query then they will not be updating search results for everything.
This just shows the further shift to show everyone that user experience is more important than ever. Although we have content, links and everything else that makes up search engine optimisation we now have this emphasis on user interaction and experience that is becoming a much bigger part of SEO. It’s time for everyone to start looking through their website and viewing from a customer point of view and try to understand if it could frustrate your user.
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