Google takes on Wolfram Alpha, remove need to visit any factual site again

Google has made a move to take on Wolfram Alpha, removing the need to visit specific websites for factual information, which could have a dramatic affect on how we use the world's number one search engine.

Launching a new feature that Google is calling "Answer highlighting" the new offering will "automatically identify and extract structured data from across the Internet" and deliver it to Google users within the company's own search results saving you the need to click on the suggested link.

"We've been making progress, and today the research behind Google Squared is, for the first time, making search better for everyone with a new feature called answer highlighting", the company said in a blog post.

The new feature will let users get to information more quickly by seeking out and bolding the likely answer to questions asked in search results.

However, SEO experts told Pocket-lint that they were worried that the move could cause users not to bother clicking on the link and therefore visiting the site providing the information in the first place: "If you've got the information from Google, why would you click on the link to read it again", one SEO expert told us.

"Maybe the newspaper owners were right. If Google provides you the information on its search page you aren't going to click through to the original article", said another before adding "and not visiting the site could mean a drastic drop in visitors and therefore ad revenue".

Google has been criticized in the past by newspaper owners like Rupert Murdoch for using headlines and snippets of the news stories when displaying links to the news.

Google has always said in its defence that it is merely surfacing links that in turn helps drive traffic to news sites.

What do you think? Will Google's move to answer your questions without you having to click through to the original source cause outcry from publishers, or is Google just doing all it can to help those searching?

 



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