Google testing Question Hub in the U.S. for COVID-related queries
Initially launching in India and other regions where Google had content gaps, Google is now testing this in the US.
Back in 2018, Google began testing a way for searchers to submit questions to Google manually. It launched in Google India in 2019 as Question Hub, a way for searchers to let Google know when they haven’t been able to find the content they are searching for.
This is now being tested in U.S.-based Google searches as a way for Google to identifying content gaps for COVID-related queries, a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land.
What it looks like. Dan Leibson sent me an example of this via Twitter this morning. But he is in the U.S., not India, so I asked Google why someone in the U.S. is seeing this. Google said it is a limited pilot in the U.S. for some COVID-related queries where it is trying to understand content gaps.
Here is the screen shot Dan shared on Twitter:
Question Hub. This question hub feature launched in 2019 in India, Indonesia and Nigeria in English, Hindi and Bahasa Indonesia. Now, we have this limited test in the U.S. Question Hub is a tool that enables creators to create richer content by leveraging unanswered questions.
“Question Hub collects these unanswered user questions and surfaces them to bloggers, writers, and content creators like you,” Google said over here.
Currently the pilot is not available to any publisher. Google is starting with providing the questions to organizations including government health authorities and other accredited institutions that have medical expertise.. Here is a screen shot from Google in 2019 but this shouldn’t be widely available in Search Console if someone tries to just look for it.
You can learn more about this feature over here.
Why we care. This is a unique way of understanding what searchers are looking for when it comes to queries where Google may not have enough content. Since COVID-19 is a relatively new area and so much content is still being created, while so many people have so many unanswered questions around the topic; here is Google’s method of trying to find ways to fill those answers.