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Google will answer some questions instead of loading search results

By initially cutting out search results, Google hopes to make Search even faster.

Published onNovember 26, 2018

Google Search Answer
  • Google Search will start cutting out third-party search results on mobile and only display answers from the company.
  • Users can choose to still load the complete list of search results if they aren’t given the answer they’re looking for.
  • Nothing should be changing for those using Google Search on a desktop browser.

For some time now, Google has added its own answers to the top of search results. In most cases, these widgets provide you with the information that you were looking for.

But on mobile, things are getting shaken up. Going forward, some searches will only show Google’s answer instead of loading an entire page of results, as spotted by Sergey Alakov (via 9to5Google).

Looking at the screenshots, you can see that searches that include calculations, unit conversions, and time don’t immediately load a full page of search results and instead just display Google’s built-in tool. Fortunately, there is a “show all results” button that will allow users to view results as usual.

Google is only cutting out other search results when it has an “extremely high confidence” that it can answer the user’s question accurately. While testing out this new functionality, we found the probability of Google not showing a complete list of search results to be hit or miss. It’s pretty clear that the search giant is still working to determine when it’s best only to show its widget and when to include third-party links. 

Insightful tips to help you use Google Search the right way!
Google Advanced Search screenshot

Interestingly enough, users first noticed Google experimenting with this “condensed view” back in February. As stated by Danny Sullivan, Google’s public liaison of search, the Silicon Valley company aims to “speed up load time.” By not initially loading a full page of search results, fewer resources are needed just to bring up Google’s answer.

For calculator, unit converter & local time, we’re experimenting with a condensed view to further speed up load time. People who search for these tools rarely use full search results, but the results will remain available for those who want them via the “Show all results” button.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) March 14, 2018

Google Search’s “condensed view” should be available for almost everyone utilizing the company’s Android and iOS apps and the mobile web. Anyone using a desktop browser should continue to see full search results in addition to Google’s added answer.

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