Why Does the #1 Search Result Spot Not Matter?

Say what? I know what you’re all thinking: “How can this be? This is all we’ve ever known. This is everything we’ve worked towards!” Don’t freak out just yet and here me out when I say that, although it’s a great accomplishment to be the number one search result for a given keyword in Google, it’s not the end all be all.

One of this year’s biggest changes that Google has rolled out is their Direct Answer Box. This little box found at the top of the page for some search queries appears as a helpful guide to answer some of your questions. Questions regarding distance, size, measurements, time, and even history can be answered with this direct answer box.

Usually, this box will pull information in from the number one ranked website. However, because it’s Google’s goal to provide their users with the best, most relevant information possible, the best answer may not be from the number one organically ranked website. For example, the best answer for a question may be pulled in from the third spot down instead of the first.

How might this affect traffic for both sites?

Although the answer to a question was given in the Direct Answer Box, many users will still click into the website to seek more information. Users clicking in the answer box to the 3rd ranked website will ultimately generate a higher click through rate for that site compared to the number one ranked site.

So how can you optimize for this Direct Answer Box?

For starters, it is important to have an FAQ for your particular industry. Answer some questions that you believe are common for your audience to ask. You can even check Google Search Consul to see what long tail keywords people are searching — some of those may be question-related.

You can even answer specific questions using videos. Optimizing your site with YouTube videos is a great way to keep users on your website. Posting How-To videos, DIY videos and other tutorials have been spotted in answer boxes.

Don’t be afraid to check out the websites that are coming up in answer boxes and see how they’ve optimized their content for Google. As always, be patient — as these changes could take some time to get noticed. Hiring a full service SEO company such as Boston Web Marketing can also help you obtain better results.

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