Google is contextualizing the Web
Basically, what this means is that Google wants to present people with information in context for them. What time of day is it? Are you shopping for a product or looking for a service or researching or just browsing? Each of these behaviors (and many more) are part of what makes up your context. The better Google gets at understanding your context, the more relevant search results they are able to provide.
Providing relevance is at the top of Google’s priority list when it comes to search. The more relevant your search experience is, the more often you’ll use Google as your entry point into the Web. You’re happy because you get answers quickly, and Google is happy because you’re using their product. Overall this is a balanced scenario which works well for all concerned.
How Does Google Contextualize the Web?
Now that you can see there are some good reasons for Google to contextualize the Web, let’s take a look at some of the ways they do this. One of the major ways Google contextualizes the Web, is by presenting you with rich information about what you’re looking for right in the search results. Some of this rich information takes the form of answers given directly in Google search results, and these answers come from the Google Knowledge Graph. More on the Knowledge Graph can be found here from Search Engine Land, but basically:
“The Google Knowledge Graph is a system that Google launched in May 2012 that understands facts about people, places and things and how these entities are all connected.”
For example, you can ask Google questions like “who was the most popular president” to get an answer right in search that looks like this:
You can also ask Google, with their Natural Language Processing (NLP), you can literally ask with your voice, a question like “what is the oldest building in the world” and you’ll see this:
Another way in which Google contextualizes the Web, is by understanding something called “schema markup”. Hey, let’s ask Google..OK Google “what is schema markup” and you’ll see this result:
Better yet, if you’re on an Android device you’ll hear your answer spoken out-loud:
“Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. If you’ve ever used rich snippets, you’ll understand exactly what schema markup is all about.“
Okay, enough Geeking out for now.
What are the results of schema markup in Google search?