We all know that Google stands at the forefront of search technology. They implement multiple daily updates to their search algorithm to provide the most accurate results to their customers – the Google searchers. But, what’s next? Certainly, Google will continue to update their algorithm for years to come. On top of that, they are diving into new ways to provide quality search results that better meet their customers’ expectations.

In this 2 part article, I will be discussing two of Google’s tactics for better meeting customer expectations: Answer Boxes (this article) and Machine Learning.

What are Answer Boxes?

Have you asked Google a question lately? An Answer Box is Google’s attempt at giving you the answer you are looking for right there on the search engine results page (or SERP). Answer Boxes are powered by Knowledge Graph. Knowledge Graph is Google’s attempt at providing the most relevant information as quickly as possibly by creating a web of key information.

Answer Box is a great example of Knowledge Graph. Simply ask a question like “What is SEO?” Google has already identified the best answer to this question and quickly serves that answer to you right on the SERP. This feature presents tremendous opportunity and pains as digital marketers. If we are the answer box result, we’ve just won more exposure and more clickthroughs. It’s an SEOs dream. If we aren’t the chosen answer box listing, we lose out on high-quality traffic.

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How can I rank in Answer Boxes?

Looking to appear in the Answer Box? Unfortunately, there is no set markup to identify your answers. That said, here are a few tips to increase your likelihood of Answer Box ranking.

(1) Check the SERP. Verify first that Google has determined that an Answer Box is relevant. A good place to start is in the How/Why/Where keyword phrases – or those that ask a question.

(2) Answer the question. Write your content so that it answers the question. Is there already an Answer Box? That website is already ranking. I’m not pushing you to duplicate content, but to learn from the success of others.

(3) Markup your content. There is no set “Answer Box markup”. That said, adding proper schema is a step in the right direction. Essentially you want to do all the right things so that Google identifies you as a great resource.

(4) Linking. Add internal links with anchor text for the question. Use all methods at your disposal to show Google you are the answer to the question.

Want to learn more about Next Gen SEO with Google? Check out the next article on Machine Learning (Coming Soon).

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