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Types of Natural Language Search Results Google Displays For "Intent" or "Non Factual" Search Queries

The launch of the Hummingbird update added brains to the Google search algorithm. Google can now easily return answers to non factual search queries instead of returning 10 blue links and asking the user to search for an answer himself/herself. 

Talking from a user point of view, Google always want the user to receive instant answers to its questions. NLSR (Natural Language Search Results) is an effort by Google to decrease the time spend by an user in searching for an accurate answer. 

Google with the help of its sophisticated algorithms can find out answers from authoritative sources and display them before the user thereby decreasing the time spent by an user in searching for an answer. 

A natural language query is a query using terms a person would use to ask a question, such as "how do I make ice cream?". Some natural language queries are non-factual. A non-factual query may be a query that includes a request for specific information about a topic. Google has the ability to identify clear-intent queries and match the queries to the stored answers and provide an enhanced search result with complete answers from one or more authoritative sources.

The return of direct answers by Google is one of the elementary stages where Google has already started to behave like a QA Engine instead of a search engine. 

Example Search Snippets for NLP Results

Query 1- How to prepare green tea

Paragraph based search snippet

Query 2- How to add signature in outlook

List based search snippet

Query 3 - Who is the finance minister of india

Bolded answer based search snippet

Accurate detection of answer from a paragraph in an authoritative source. 


What is the distance between earth and mars

Query 4 - 24*7

Direct mathematical answers as search snippet

Query 5 - Synonyms of beautiful

Text plus audio based search snippet

Query 6- Area code of las vegas

Knowledge graph based search snippets

Query 7- How to gain weight fast for men

NLP + PPC Ads Based Search Results

Queries based on how, who, when often return an answer snippet and in the years to come, this ratio of answers to links as references will keep on increasing. More answers will be delivered by Google making users search less and do more. organic search visibility of websites will certainly hamper but semantic modification of content will get businesses an upper hand.

Example - How to make chocolate cake is able to divert so much of traffic on its website with Google's semantic algorithms picking its website to return answers for the user's query. If your site is listed as an answer to the query then you can divert immense amount of traffic to your site but doing that is not easy. Have a look at the screenshot below:

Happy Semantic Search in 2015!

Also See:

5 Tools to Make Your Site Hummingbird Friendly
Google Query Processing by Identifying Entities
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How Google Identifies Substitute Terms of a Query?
Google Patent to Identify Erroneous Business Listings
How Google Might Predict Mobile Search Queries
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Taxonomic Classification While Finding Context of Search Query