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New look "Google Knowledge" replaces results with content
Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4632164
 2:33 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing some search results that are displaying Google Knowledge instead of search results. The results page has the typical 3 ads up top but underneath that is the actual content from the top ranked sites posted right onto the results page. A traditional result has typically been a link using the page title as anchor text followed by a description however these new results have NO link and NO title and simply display the relevant content directly on the page.

There are 3 of these results above the fold for most searches, they are expanded in size to show more data than a typical description, resulting in zero traditional results visible. Google does give credit to the site from which the content was taken in the form of a "results from example.com" link at the bottom of each entry but the size of this line is tiny and the coloring is a very faint grey so as not to stick out at all.

The width of the main area seems to have been expanded as well, shrinking down the sidebar area where "Google Knowledge" was originally appearing. Also, the information displayed is not generated by page descriptions, it is the actual on page content with bullet lists and all.

If content from our sites is placed directly on Google I feel that this will have a huge negative impact in terms of how much actual traffic Google will send to our sites.

 

Swanny007




msg:4632185
 3:35 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I haven't seen this yet but it definitely sounds like bad news for publishers. That is no surprise as Google is trying to nearly eliminate everything on the 'net, and be the Internet.

Do you have a screenshot? Or an example query I could use to pull up the knowledge section?

My largest site could be hit hard by this as it provides details/answers to specific issues.

indyank




msg:4632200
 4:11 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is Google allowed to do that? I mean, can they go beyond showing a meta description on SERP?

Dymero




msg:4632203
 4:18 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'd love to see a screenshot if you come across it again.

Is Google allowed to do that? I mean, can they go beyond showing a meta description on SERP?


Besides Wiki, Google has previously shown content for things like definitions and cited the source, though I don't know whether or not they had licensing deals to do that. Now they don't show sources for definitions anymore, even though at least some of them match up to existing websites.

You can't copyright facts, so if your site deals in that, expect to be pushed out. However, it gets extremely risky for Google if they're going beyond that.

indyank




msg:4632216
 5:04 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

You can't copyright facts, so if your site deals in that, expect to be pushed out. However, it gets extremely risky for Google if they're going beyond that.


Ok. So are these facts which get shown this way?

and what is the legal standing in US outside the online world when it comes to facts books. Is it OK to say copy and publish books of records like say Guiness book of records etc.?

netmeg




msg:4632222
 5:53 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

You probably are talking about compilation copyright, and the short answer is, the copyright goes to the entire compilation and if they pick out a fact here and there, it's probably not covered. But I'm not a lawyer, so don't necessarily go by me.

goodroi




msg:4632226
 6:08 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is legal under the long established principle of "fair use". For example I am republishing this snippet from Wikipedia about "fair use" and I am not breaking US copyright law.
...fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work...


The serp that I came across only showed facts and it cited the original source. Google also gives webmasters many different ways to control whether they are displayed or not.

If you want free traffic from Google (a private business) then you need to play by their rules. You can block Google from crawling your site and request that they remove content from their index. But you can not demand free traffic from Google only on your terms. If you want traffic from Google you need to play their game using their rules. You as a private business owner can walk away from Google anytime.

Right now, would be a good time to revisit your business strategy and figure out how to handle this change. Even if this specific change doesn't stay, the general concept of Google trying to directly satisfy users in the fastest way still exists. If you were the CEO of Google, you would probably be making the same moves. So what are you going to do as the CEO of your web business?

Dymero




msg:4632230
 6:26 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've now seen an example of what Sgt_Kickaxe is talking about, and I think it's a bit murky, though Google could try for a "fair use" argument. I guess the crux of a case would come down to whether or not Google can convince a judge they're using the material in a way that falls under fair use.

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4632240
 6:45 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's certainly different from their knowledge graph output, as that comes from a finite number of sources (see freebase) while these results are from "private" websites. That doesn't mean knowledge graph logic isn't used to create these results though.

Shepherd




msg:4632241
 6:47 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

If copyright or fair use issues come up it's not going to be a problem for google, they have the resources to create the content they need to populate the knowledge graph without scraping it from somewhere else. What we are seeing now is probably only a test of the display mech to get data on how it affects adwords rev. Pretty good use of resources, scrape the data now, by the time anyone gets around to DMCAing them they will have the data they need to determine if they should move forward with the content creation.

EditorialGuy




msg:4632249
 8:10 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Fair use shouldn't come into play here, because different countries have different views on "fair use."

in any case, unless Google is actually copying language, it isn't violating anyone's copyright. Facts, data, and ideas aren't protected by copyright, so Google is perfectly entitled to lift such information from other sources in the same way that you and I are.

Here's a quote from a University of Michigan Library document that may be helpful:

It is important to remember that even if a database or compilation is arranged with sufficient originality to qualify for copyright protection, the facts and data within that database are still in the public domain. Anyone can take those facts and reuse or republish them, as long as that person arranges them in a new way.


Source: [lib.umich.edu...]

Martin Ice Web




msg:4632251
 8:19 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

How long will poeple publish new content if the donīt get credit for their work? google should know that they make the internet a lousy place if they continue scapping other poeples content and punish other for doing so.

lucy24




msg:4632255
 8:39 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Elsewhere I've asked the slightly rhetorical question: Of all the facts in the world, what proportion can be reduced to two lines in a SERP or knowledge graph?

A simple illustration of the "knowledge" add-on is what you get when you google a one-off fact like "height of Eiffel tower". The foregoing is technically against our TOS but I think moderators will agree it's appropriate here.

See also: [webmasterworld.com...] (msg4631475, but I can never remember how to link directly)

If Google can display a sentence of your content or even a paragraph and it fully satisfies the consumer causing you to go broke, then your business strategy needs rethinking.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4632267
 10:11 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

what proportion can be reduced to two lines in a SERP or knowledge graph?

The question is now "what portion can be reduced to seven lines" and keep in mind that there is no page title link to the page anymore. I wanted to add a correction to my opening post as well, the link stating "read full answer on example.com" at the bottom IS a link to the exact url the data was taken from.

Every credit byline underneath the content displayed looks very similar, has no anchor text, has a reduced font size(50% smaller?) and is colored in #878787 grey on white background, it doesn't stand out.

edit: It's my personal opinion that the specific queries I've seen which return this type of result are in fact good for Google and good for Google users. I doubt any non-authority site will see their content borrowed in this way but I think it's a valid concern for webmasters to have moving forward. Time will tell if Google expands this type of "no title, no link up top, content only" result to more and more queries.

Lucy, these pages do not look like "height of Eifel tower" in that the knowledge graph content replaces the results side of the page with actual content from various sites(without titles/links/descriptions). You no longer see traditional results above the fold in the new layout.

aakk9999




msg:4632287
 10:58 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mods Note:

Sgt_Kickaxe has stickied us the search term he has used, and as it is generic enough, here is the screenshot of the knowledge graph he is talking about:

[imageshack.com...]

The search was done on google.com and I am seeing it on Firefox, IE and Chrome browsers.

Note that in his opening post Sgt_Kickaxe said he is also getting three usual Adwords Ads on top prior to knowledge graph entries and I am not getting these, perhaps because I am not in USA.

Robert Charlton




msg:4632292
 11:11 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing ads on that search in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The only differences from the screen shot that I'm seeing (off topic but perhaps interesting) is that I'm seeing 3,100,000 results instead of 5,300,000, and that the time was .18 seconds rather than .15. I'm signed in, with search history turned off.

EditorialGuy




msg:4632294
 11:24 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I see one ad.

Also, the list of symptoms in Google's Knowledge Graph box is from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the CDC states explicitly that most of the information on its Web site is in the public domain.

aakk9999




msg:4632302
 11:50 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

@EditorialGuy
If CDC states this, fine. But the first two entries are word for word lifted from the first two sites. It could be argued to be fair use though.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 11:50 pm (utc) on Dec 19, 2013]

Shepherd




msg:4632303
 11:50 pm on Dec 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Funny how you can know somethings coming and it still seems like a shock when it happens...

JD_Toims




msg:4632307
 12:29 am on Dec 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'd take any of those 3 knowledge graph results -- None is a complete answer [even together they aren't a complete answer]; I'd have 2x the number of chances at clicks between the knowledge graph and the "regular" results; as a searcher, I'd be likely to click on all 3 links [I didn't have any issue seeing] to get more information from a variety of sources.

[edited by: JD_Toims at 12:33 am (utc) on Dec 20, 2013]

londrum




msg:4632308
 12:29 am on Dec 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you look at that image, then it doesn't look like they are showing many extra words. It's just arranged differently.

The entries in the box actually appear twice now. Once in then new box, and then again in the SERPS below. The number of words only differs by two for the first one. So you could argue that those entries in the box have gained an extra link, and more exposure.

But yeah, the new arrangement is obviously an attempt by google to show the actual answer, so the user doesn't have to leave. I guess time will tell whether the extra link makes up for it.

lucy24




msg:4632329
 1:48 am on Dec 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Lucy, these pages do not look like "height of Eifel tower" in that the knowledge graph content replaces the results side of the page with actual content from various sites(without titles/links/descriptions). You no longer see traditional results above the fold in the new layout.

Yes, I know what you're describing. I've seen it one or two times recently-- probably in Safari, since g### is getting snarky about Camino-- but naturally couldn't remember the search terms involved.

The other version is where the knowledge stuff replaces the advertising sidebar. Try searching for a named person. Any name, any time period.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4632375
 7:13 am on Dec 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Wow aakk9999, that image does indeed look different than what I see. I see 3 ads above as well as a bullet list with 6 entries in the second result right now, there are no traditional results above the fold whatsoever and even if there was only 2 ads it would still be below the fold. The credit links are larger as well, but the same color.

Anyway, we know what's coming, perhaps discussing how, as webmasters, we can retain some value from Google should they greatly expand this layout would be helpful. If(and it's a big if at this point) that is what the future of serps is, how do we still get traffic from Google?

- pay for it
- become the authority and get footer credit clicks
- ?

austtr




msg:4632415
 9:11 am on Dec 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

We have known that Knowledge Graph was coming for quite some time. I think it was Armit Singh who spoke of it at some presentation or other.

The examples discussed in this thread relate to queries that require an answer based on fact... ie.. the responses are scraped from informative sites. In many cases, there will be little if any ecommerce impact on the sites being scraped for those types of queries.

It will be interesting to see how they scrape data when the query is purely commercial. eg.. "cheapest New York hotel prices" can't return one factual answer so maybe they will present their top three "authority" sites in the same way they currently use the SERP's. Same outcome, different showcase.

OR.... maybe the Knowledge Graph only kicks in when there is a known, factual answer.

Robert Charlton




msg:4632423
 10:13 am on Dec 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

maybe the Knowledge Graph only kicks in when there is a known, factual answer.

I believe that this is indeed the case. If you add very many modifiers (or any modifiers) to a query for a "name entity", in fact, you won't get Knowledge Graph results.

This has also been true of searches for Google's medical results for quite a few years... (even pre-Knowledge Graph). If you search with clinical vocabulary, you'll get expert-seeded results from sites that Google trusts. Medical results have been at the cutting edge of a bunch of Google search developments, as Google considers them important.

But in the past, and to an extent still true now, if you used layman's language and said [how can i tell if my tummy ache is a virus], you wouldn't get the clear answer that you'd get with [disease-name symptoms]. To an extent, that's still true.

I played around with the vocabulary on this one a fair amount. I believe you need to have "strep" and "symptoms" in your query to get this particular display... and that "strep symptoms" or "strep throat symptoms" is the entity.

Superfluous stuff like "how can i tell if" is no longer treated as a modifier, though... It is ignored by a Hummingbird query modification mechanism, I assume.

Note, though, that if you search for [bad sore throat symptoms], Google attempts to put you on the trail, and you will get a list of possible disease-name symptom searches to try. Google then also offers a "How this works" link to this page...

Medical condition & symptom search
[support.google.com...]

...For a search that seems to be about specific medical symptoms like "cough at night", our algorithms analyze the web search results to find health conditions that may be related to the symptoms in the query....

Slightly off the topic of the display, but I think related to this discussion in a broader scope... this reminded me also that Google has been using Google Trends to correlate diseases and symptoms, in an attempt to predict disease outbreaks. Current page is at...

Explore flu trends - United States
[google.org...]

We've found that certain search terms are good indicators of flu activity. Google Flu Trends uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity.

All that said, if your business model depends click-throughs to retrieve publicly available information, I would rethink the business model.

turbocharged




msg:4632425
 10:54 am on Dec 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I wonder how the "public domain" would conflict with a site owner's specific terms of use and usage in a commercial manner.
WebMD authorizes you to view or download a single copy of the material on the WebMD Site solely for your personal, noncommercial use if you include the following copyright notice: "Đ2013, WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved" and other copyright and proprietary rights notices that are contained in the Content.

All that said, if your business model depends click-throughs to retrieve publicly available information, I would rethink the business model.

What is public domain can include just about anything viewable to end users and should not trump the rights of the creators of such content. Furthermore, I don't know of any online business model that does not depend on traffic, and for many webmasters click-throughs provide at least a portion of that traffic.

Today Google is answering health related questions and tomorrow it will be something else. You may own your content now, but who profits from that labor in the future may be a different story.

zeus




msg:4632496
 5:10 pm on Dec 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

What are they expecting from us website owners, of cause more and more will block google, when there is no visits. The last 3 years has really been a battle against website owners. Look at a first page result, its almost everything google ads/sites.

EditorialGuy




msg:4632510
 6:26 pm on Dec 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

What is public domain can include just about anything viewable to end users and should not trump the rights of the creators of such content.


Those "rights" are determined by copyright law. If you want to play jailhouse lawyer, go ahead, but I'm sure Google has plenty of real lawyers to vet new products and features.

Robert Charlton said it perfectly:

if your business model depends [on] click-throughs to retrieve publicly available information, I would rethink the business model.

bwnbwn




msg:4632523
 7:26 pm on Dec 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Actually I find the results quite interesting. Can't argue with the result nor the rich snips. There is enough info for a possible answer but a person will likely click through.
I have done an exhaustive search to find other examples of this but right now I need to enter "symptoms" if I enter past this the snips are missing.

lucy24




msg:4632546
 8:46 pm on Dec 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

What is public domain can include

"Public domain" is a legal term associated with copyright law. It has nothing to do with availability, distribution, accessibility or similar.

This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39 ( [1] 2 > >
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