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.

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Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz 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 can be followed on social media at @rustybrick, +BarrySchwartz and Facebook. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio and disclosures, click over here.