Answers Before You Search: Knowledge Graph Results Come to Chrome Omnibox

A new trend was spotted this week by our Fort Worth SEO team. Pre-query Knowledge Graph answers now display and auto-complete in Google Chrome’s Omnibox. Basic information regarding notable entities displays before the search query is completed and renders the search results page.

Below is an example of this auto-complete query, with answer to the age-old question, “how old is Taylor Swift”. 

At first glance, this development is intriguing for Google, who has largely focused on mobile devices and keeping users within Google web properties lately. 

However, the rise of Knowledge Graph and Quick Answers is well-documented. Google is undoubtedly continuing its journey of bringing answers (instead of results) and understanding intent (instead of questions.) In December 2014, Google announced the close of Freebase: the first engine behind Google’s Knowledge Graph. Since then, updates have been accelerated:

Observations: Pre-Query Answers 

Currently, pre-query Chrome Omnibox answers appear to be limited in scope. This iteration displays for very basic, informational queries. For example, the birthplace of Joaquin Phoenix and the author of “Amazing Grace” are included: 

As usual, Google demonstrates room for improvement regarding searcher intent. Below, a search for information about Sony returns the age of "Real Housewives of New York", Sonja Morgan. 

What’s next for the Knowledge Graph & your brand? 

If Google continues to scale this feature, we can see this expanded in various ways: 

  • Distances between locations (Distance from Boston to New York)
  • Simple math problems (5 pounds to ounces)
  • Personalized logistics (Upcoming flight details)
  • Basic cooking details (Boiling point of water) 
  • Simple resources (Current U.S. Interest Rate) 

Regardless of Google’s future updates, there are a few actions your brand should take today. 

Check Your WikiData 

Visit WikiData to see what displays for your brand and its assets. Verify listing accuracy, but don’t get greedy on making custom edits. Wikipedia is tightly patrolled for detail and objectivity. Updates beyond pure factual information will likely be rejected.   

Create or Audit Rich Snippets 

Rich snippets and is the accompanying engine driving Google’s delivery of answers. Schema markup has intensified traditional organic search competition. However, ranking without competition could bring a new definition to a zero-sum game. 

Note: A well-deserved hat tip is owed to Ryan Metcalf on the Fort Worth SEO team and to Joe Laurino at Conductor for this find. 

Testing Details: We used Google Chrome Version 45.0.2454.93 m; Google United States (logged in)