- Sep 20, 2021
Google has a number of built-in tools that make the search engine really useful, and the latest feature to join the list is its ability to directly answer certain queries on mobile, Android and iOS, without referring the user to a list of standard web search results.
The feature first spotted today has since been confirmed by Google to Search Engine Land and shall include providing direct answers to queries that can be answered by the built-in calculator, unit converter, or clock; and such searches shall not feature other web links. The result is a simple page featuring nothing but the Search bar on top, followed by the answer.
“As always, our goal with search is to help people quickly find the most relevant information. For queries where we have extremely high confidence that a user is seeking a calculation, unit conversion or local time, we will show a single result to improve load time on mobile. Since our initial experiment in February, we worked to remove ads and improve the triggering quality for this experience to be sure that we’re serving users what they’re looking for, and we will still provide the option to tap to see more results,” -Google.
Such singular results shall, however, appear only when Google has “extremely high confidence” in the result being a direct answer to the user’s query. In case of a unit conversion, the card will also feature a quick tool for users to find other results, and basic arithmetic shall be accompanied by a simple calculator.
The search engine began experimenting with this “condensed view” this February in an attempt to quicken load times. Questions about conversions or the time can often be quickly answered without reference to web pages, and the feature is also much cleaner directly benefitting the user. Meanwhile, those that still want web links shall retain an option to tap the button below the card to load regular web results.
Google added to confirm today that the feature is now being rolled out widely. The original experiment ended in March, and the Search team has improved the accuracy of the one-answer results since then, while also ensuring that ads don’t appear.
The direct Google Search answers are available on the mobile web, Android, and iOS Search apps. Results on the desktops, for their part, will continue yielding built-in tools followed by 10 blue links.