Internet Marketing Weekly: Google is Changing – Not Always for the Better for Your Website
Of the recent and rumored changes at Google, many have one thing in common: they are designed to entice Google users to remain on Google sites rather than click through to non-Google sites.
The reason is straightforward enough: Google is in the business of promoting Google products in addition to being the leading search engine (and online advertising seller).
Let’s break it down:
Google Direct Answers
Ask a question and get a direct answer from Google.
Google acquired this technology from the Squared software of its own Google Labs and from an acquisition of Metaweb Technologies, both in 2010, and have slowly rolled out these direct responses to questions entered into Google search.
Direct answers to questions appear below the ad row (if applicable) and above the organic results. They cite their sources, but they don’t link to them directly in the answer, you have to click to reveal the sources.
Sure, direct answers don’t apply to a whole heck of a lot of queries related to bed & breakfast inns and other small businesses right now, but some queries for events in specific areas do get direct answers, so it may already impact chambers of commerce and visitors bureaus.
The acquisition of Metaweb’s Freebase was made specifically to get software that will increase the sophistication of analysis of questions and supply of answers, so the burning question is this: How will Google evolve their direct answers to keep users on Google? Google is playing this close to the vest, so stay tuned.