Google Fixes Definition URLs, Makes Them Clickable Links

When Google introduced a new format last month for the definitions it sometimes shows at the top of its search results, something was missing. The source URL wasn’t a clickable link. That’s now been fixed.

Here’s an example, the definition box that Google shows for a “define speed of light” search:

The URL shown under the definition previously wasn’t clickable. Instead, the only way to click through to the source of the definition was to use the smaller “Source” link at the very bottom of the box.

Reader Martin Panayotov pointed this out to us at the end of December. We checked with Google about it and were told that the URL should be clickable and that this would be fixed. Now it is.

In cases where Google is drawing a definition from multiple sources, rather than from one in particular, no URL is shown, but the sources are cited below the definition box and are clickable links:

To see definitions like those above, put “define” in front of the word you want defined, such as:

  • define red
  • define matt cuttts
  • define gangnam

Alternatively, using “what is” often works.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Definitions | Google: Knowledge Graph | Google: OneBox, Plus Box & Direct Answers | Top News


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Khalid

    [what is] before the person, place or thing also works. I think that was done for voice search, so people can pick up their phone, tap the microphone and ask the question. Most people I suppose are more likely to use what is than define.

  • Josh

    A prefix of “What is…” also renders similar results. Classy move, IMHO by Google. Sucks for sites who beg for those terms, but rewards the end user without needing to click onto a site.

  • Josh

    Ah, you beat me to it. Good find.

  • RankWatch

    That’s really very well noticed Khalid. These are some of the great initiatives taken by Google for users to get the desired result on the search results page immediately for the searches for which the result is obvious and also to make them spend more time on Google in searching and getting to know lot of stuff.

  • Guillaume Erard

    Google doing more content scrapping…

  • Unbound Marketing

    If search engines didn’t scrape content it’d be a pain in the arse to find what you were looking for.

  • Rajesh Babu

    adding “meaning” after the word also works…but yes i have noticed the missing credit links several months ago. i thought google was doing it deliberately. In any case, i don’t see people clicking thro. those links. A classic case of “google scraping facts” and they can’t be copyrighted. But i thought google was already compensating (monetarily) those reference sites in some way or the other like they do to wikipedia by way of donations, etc.

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