Google Answer Box Explained

Google Answer Box Explained

Google’s SERP is constantly changing with updates that are both visual and “behind the scenes”. Recently Google launched the Answer Box Snippet which has continued to grow in popularity, with more and more businesses realising just how useful it can be.

The Answer Box snippet attempts to serve users with a relevant result that directly answers the search query within a highlighted box. The big G has a track record of testing features and algorithmic updates, so it is unclear whether the Answer Box snippet is here to stay for certain, but so far all indications show that it is here for the long run. So now is the time to make the best use of it!

But why is it important to achieve a Google Answer Box result? For starters, the position of the result is directly at the top of the SERP, with all other organic positions falling below, a position that has since been coined “Rank zero”. According to research, a Google Answer Box or “Rank Zero” result achieves a massive 32.3 percent Click-Through Rate (CTR). An organic Rank 1 position result, on average, yields about a 25 percent CTR without an Answer Box result above it, and with a “Rank Zero” result is achieves only an 18 percent CTR.

As you can see above, achieving a Google Answer Box result is important, but it requires correct strategy to implement.

Knowing which keywords or phrases are triggering an Answer Box is the first step. Start off by collating all of the organic keywords your domain is ranking for, regardless of the actual rank. Process these keywords with the tool of your choice (ALPS or SEMrush for example) which will notify you of which keywords are triggering an Answer Box snippet.

With all of the keywords collated, it is important to understand how and why they trigger a Google Answer Box. The whole purpose of the algorithm is to interpret and understand exactly what the user is looking for and serve a result that best answers their overall question. The most difficult part is trying to understand what question is being asked that is relevant to your keywords, and making sure your website is answering these questions.

While optimising your website in this manner however it is important to note that you may be up against competitors that are doing the same. Therefore, ensuring you are answering these questions with expansive information is best practice if you want to grab that all important “Rank Zero” spot. For example, if you have a page that is answering a question with only a paragraph of supporting text, but your competitor has a page answering the same question but with a more in-depth explanation and relevant graphs, charts and tables, your competitor is much more likely to be featured as an Answer Box.

Overall page authority doesn’t seem to have a strong effect on this, however. You don’t have to have your page featured as a rank 1 result in order to achieve this rich snippet, but having good authority and relevant page content will certainly aid in the process.