Google provides direct answers to users for any type of query imaginable through the use of rich answers. For example, you may have searched, “What is SEO?” and received a small snippet of text with an answer. Rather than having to search through the SERP, Google is giving you an immediate answer.
Why are Rich Answers Important?
Originally rich answers were used for easy answers to math equations and unit conversions, later spreading to other queries. In fact, within the past year there has been an increase in rich answers by up to 9%. Since Google is continuing to invest in rich answers we will see an even larger growth in the upcoming years.
The Effect on SEO
Since SEO strategies are based on increasing a specific web page’s visibility, new rich answers could actually be detrimental. A page that ranks number one will be bumped down to position two, page two will drop to position three, and so on. If the rich answer does answer the user’s inquiry than they are less likely to click on another website. Theoretically, you may gain less traffic to your website due to a loss of clicks.
However, we can certainly argue the negative effects of rich answers. Currently, even major websites such as Wikipedia haven’t seen a reduction in traffic.Users who are seeking quick answers probably aren’t likely to be searching around for your brand anyways.