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Direct answer, is this the most desired position in Google search?

Direct answer, is this the most desired position in Google search?

Direct answer, is this the most desired position in Google search? Check out our blog article to find out how to increase your chances.

The history of a direct answer box

We got used to the fact that Google constantly introduces various updates/modifications. Therefore, the company wants to refine its search engine.

Some of them are a tribute to website owners. While others are meant to make users’ lives easier. Direct answers aim at making browsing more approachable for website visitors. So, they don’t need to enter hundreds of pages to access the information.

Algorithms dealing with direct answers were introduced in 2016.

Obviously, the main functionalities were optimized for English and the USA. However, at the time of launch, Google made them available also to several European countries.

Direct answers: definition

Google’s direct answers are displayed in the “zero position”. Therefore, direct answers (answer boxes) are displayed above search results and Google Ads.

Google bots consider given website content to be the most valuable and accurate? They honor it in this way. This functionality has a significant impact on the search results.

Before its implementation, users were getting hundreds of pages corresponding to a given search query. Also, ads were displayed above them. It was almost impossible for a website to be ranked above ads in organic search results.

Obviously it shouldn’t be surprising as ads are profitable for the creators of search engines. After the implementation of direct answers it’s possible to be displayed above-paid ads.

This is a huge opportunity for websites fighting for high positions in the search results. To obtain a direct answer first you need to ask a question that the search engine can respond to.

Which words to use to obtain your direct answer?

The English version of the search engine is the most precise so far. Now, Google reacts mainly to phrases like “what is…”. So, websites with such questions and answers are displayed in the Google direct answer box.

Other popular questions include:

  1. how;
  2. when;
  3. where;
  4. why;
  5. who.

It’s worth switching your search engine to English to see how this functionality works. In this way, you’ll increase your chances of outdoing your market rivals.

For this purpose, you can benefit from free tools available online. Therefore, you can check what types of questions are frequently asked by users.

Answer The Public is an excellent example of such a tool.

The benefits of being ranked in the zero position

There are numerous benefits of direct answers. The first, and the most obvious one, includes reaching the highest possible Google position.

Thanks to it you can outdo market rivals even if your SEO activities haven’t been particularly fruitful. Unfortunately, the task isn’t as simple as it seems. First, you need to be ranked in TOP10 to be shown in the direct answer box.

Second, being ranked in the zero position shows that the editors are real experts. Bots decide that given content is the most valuable and corresponds to a specific query the most accurately?

It’s a sign that it’s worth visiting the website.

Moreover, in the case of direct answers, Google graphically highlights the content. Also, the website link is more visible when compared to standard search results. This increases the chances that the users will visit your page.

What’s the recipe for success in direct answer?

This is what you should focus on to increase your chances of being displayed in the direct answer box:

  • optimize your content so that it answers questions like “how..”, “what is…”, “where…”, “when…”. The content needs to resemble a definition that provides clear answers and contains specific phrases;
  • place questions in the website title (title tag);
  • create a user-friendly URL that takes the questions into account;
  • provide a photo with an alt text that contains the question and the keyword;
  • ensure proper website visibility by conducting appropriate SEO activities.

Bringing all these suggestions to life gives you the greatest opportunity of getting a direct answer box.

Disadvantages of direct answers

Obviously, there’s also the other side of the coin. Being displayed at the very top of the search results in a specially designed window doesn’t bring solely benefits.

The biggest disadvantage of being ranked in the zero position is the possibility of a decrease in traffic. Users seeing a satisfactory answer in the box will no longer have to click on the link and enter your website.

This means that they’ll read your content distribution without visiting the website. This situation may translate into a traffic decrease. The functionalities of direct answers are being constantly developed.

The solution works best with short definitions and questions with up to five words.

Being displayed in direct answers has a negative impact on your website/traffic? You can disable this functionality and prevent the content from being shown in the zero position.

To do this, use the tag <meta name=”googlebot” content=”nosnippet”>. To learn more, go to Google Support.

Freshness in the industry

Google introduced to support that was supposed to clarify the asked question in some way. Thanks to it, after asking the question, the search engine provides answers in the zero position.

Adds information “people also ask” to suggest related topics. Currently, direct answers are specified in the tags placed under the answer box.


As you can see, being displayed in direct answers has both advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it’s crucial to develop an appropriate strategy.

It’s definitely beneficial to be shown in the answer box. It is helpful in positioning the website owner as an expert. However, you still need to remain vigilant and observe organic traffic to your website.

Note that Google pays more and more attention to mobile-friendliness. And for solutions revolving around artificial intelligence.

In this case, focus on such advanced functionalities of the search engine. Use them to your advantage! Don’t forget to contact us for more info about this topic.

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