Google recently rolled out a new search feature that shows the top answers to forum questions related to search queries. The answers appear on the SERPs as well as links to popular web forums.
Search Engine Land first reported the addition, using the query “incoming search terms” as an example. On the sample SERP, Google now includes the most helpful, relevant forum content to give users an idea of the content they’ll see when they click through to the website.
More than anything, this feature will help users receive answers more quickly as top answers appear directly on SERPs. Still, it might encourage click-throughs by helping them determine how valuable a forum’s top answer will be and what value the rest of the web page might provide. While this may not be the best feature for the websites in terms of driving traffic, it places a premium on useful content.
The focus on the user will continue to evolve over time, with this new question and answer feature as Google’s latest step.
Websites built with SEO in mind must follow the trend in terms of ensuring their website content focuses on bringing relevant information to users as quickly as possible.
Brafton recently reported that Google’s Matt Cutts said the company’s algorithm refinements will soon change to punish sites built solely with SEO in mind, shifting the concept to content. Websites that follow SEO best practices without also providing valuable content will likely see their search ranking plummet in favor of more useful sites.