Google Discussion Forum Snippets Now Showing “Top Answers”

Google has expanded the search descriptions to show the “top answer” and sometimes the “question” for discussion forum like search results. For example, a search for ["incoming search terms"] in Google returns results from Google Groups and StackOverflow and in those snippets, it shows the “top answer” listed in the forum.

Here is a picture:

Both these forums support the functionality of labeling an answer to the question as a “top answer.” Google is clearly picking up on that, structuring the data as such and then displaying that directly in the search results.

This is all likely part of Google’s ongoing, slow and consistent effort of building out their semantic search engine.

Google has expanded this over time with forum sitelinks and listing the number of posts in a specific thread or blog post. This is just one more step in that direction.

Hat tip to Frederik Hyldig from SEOPORT.

Related Stories:

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Rich Snippets | Google: User Interface | Google: Web Search | Search Features: Enhanced Listings


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Avinash Conda

    To which extent this would effect transcriptional terms? Does this effect any retailers online?

  • yazid chala

    This is some thing nice of them, at least they are creative besides being total DB when penalizing innocent IMers

  • Kiran Singh Bista

    Is this applicable to Google Groups and StackOverflow only or some other forum too? Because i dont see them in other forums.

  • Kaushalaminc

    Google’s semantic search will definitely change SEO as it looks today. The days have gone to use the traditional ways of searching keywords.

  • Alexander Lavro

    The more of the same type of structured data Google will learn to extract from the sites – the better. Although, there will be more opportunities for webmasters to artificially influence on snippet CTR :)

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