Google “Quick Answers” 101

Google Quick Answers: New Frontier on SERP

For all digital marketers involved in content creation and curation, today I want to touch upon a new frontier on Google SERP – “Quick Answers“, which provides a great opportunity on content creation and traffic generation.

What is Google Quick Answer(s)? (Also called “Google Answer Box”)

Recently, Google has started to present a snippet of content in the “Quick Answers” box between the paid listings and the 1st organic result. It can be a definition of the query, a list, a link, a graph or anything else directly related to the search query. In addition to the information, Quick Answer also provides a hyperlink to the corresponding webpage.
Quick Answers:- To see Quick Answers in action, go to google and search for “barricade tape material” and look at the screenshot below:

As a user, when I search for “barricade tape material”, I’m getting few paid ads on top, which is immediately followed by a Quick Answer snippet providing answers to my query along with a link to the corresponding website. On right hand column Google PLAs or Google Shopping results are evident.

Quick Answer: Barricade Tape Material

1) Example 1: Product Specification for “Barricade Tape Material”
This is Quick Answers in action using Rich Snippet showing material for Barricade Tape is Cotton.
2) Example 2: Search for “calcium levels” and you’ll find UCLA with a graph


3) Example 3: Search for “broiled chicken legs”, and you will get the recipe. I have seen it both in ordered or un-ordered list as well as in paragraph form as seen below. Google is always experimenting.quick-answer-recipe

Quick Answers: A HUGE Opportunity

Needless to say, Quick Answers is becoming a huge opportunity due to its extremely prominent placement. Practically, for the search query, Quick Answers provides #1 position on SERP with a full link to the corresponding website as seen in 3 examples above.

Other than few examples above, generally questions starting with what, how, where etc are also generating a lots of success on Quick Answers.

  • What is … > “what is gluten” > Answers it’s a type of protein
  • Where is … > “where is mt everest” > Displays quick answer with map of Nepal and where is Mt. Everest located.
  • How to …. > “how old is bernie sanders” > Displays Bernie Sanders’s age (74, no kidding, as of writing of this blog!)
  • etc

Quick Answers favors question/answer format.

Quick Answers Strategy: How to begin to rank for your preferred terms?

  1. Start research with your most important and valuable terms, where your website is already an authority.
  2. A quick research on competition to see what they are doing is always valuable to provide insights, if any.
  3. Once we have research done and topic of our strength identified, it’s time to generate content and as we saw above we have to create content by answering question – “What is …”, “Where is …”, “How to …” etc.
  4. Include various media types, including video, images, graphs, list items etc.
  5. Implement SEO practices properly including but not limited to implementing meta data which drives these knowledge graphs. This points to Semantic Markup path, Google is continuously moving toward.

Final Words

Quick Answers is going to totally dominate the click-through-curve for that search query and will capture significant share of search volume. Even for the traditional #1 ranked term, we can expect drop in clicks resulting in much lower traffic, if a Quick Answers appears with a link to a different website. So this development is surely is a game-changer and everyone involved with SEO should be paying close attention to Quick Answers from Google aka Answer Box. If you’d like to see lot more examples, view this Moz post by Dr. Peter J. Meyers.

Finally, I searched for “how to cook a turkey” and voila, I got a “how-to” Quick Answers, and off I go to enjoy Thanksgiving. Guess, where would I click below?



About Ujjwal Bhattarai

Ujjwal is an engineer by education, a programmer by hobby, and an internet marketer by choice. Other than 1 minute chess, and biking, his passion includes SEO, SEM/PPC, CRO, and Web Development. As a lifelong student of Internet Development, he is hopelessly addicted to Internet, and sincerely believes after fire, wheel, and decimal point, internet is the fourth most important invention in the human history. Catch up with him on Twitter at @uj2wal or at his Google+ .

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