Google to start showing more content and send less traffic to publishers
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
More data and answers to be displayed directly on Google.com.
If you do certain searches on Google related to air travel, currency and measurement conversions, definitions, and the weather, Google will show you the result on top of the search results. For example, here’s what I see when I search for “weather in Austin”:
When you get your answer on Google.com itself you have no reason to go to a site in the search results for the answer.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal*, Google plans to ramp up this type of content display in the next year or two:
Under the shift, people who search for “Lake Tahoe” will see key “attributes” that the search engine knows about the lake, such as its location, altitude, average temperature or salt content. In contrast, those who search for “Lake Tahoe” today would get only links to the lake’s visitor bureau website, its dedicated page on Wikipedia.com, and a link to a relevant map.
For a more complex question such as, “What are the 10 largest lakes in California?” Google might provide the answer instead of just links to other sites.
While Google has given up on some of its “original content” ideas like Knol, Google would still rather have users get the information they need directly from Google rather than your web site. That could spell trouble for some web publishers who focus on data and answers to simple questions.
* I’ll be nice enough to link to the Wall Street Journal article and give it credit, even though it doesn’t link to its sources for stories. No, I’m not bitter at all about not getting credit in this article.