May 31, 2020
Google link-free SERP

Google is Testing Displaying Answers with No Paid or Organic Listings

A Google link-free SERP experiment is currently being conducted, displaying only answers to select queries, without paid or organic listings…

Here’s something unexpected. Google is actually showing answers to questions with no search results. At least, without the familiar paid listings and organic links. It only works for certain queries like “time in new zealand” and “fahrenheit to celsius.” So, essentially anything that’s utilitarian.

Google Link-Free SERP Test Underway

Google states it is testing this for queries which do not normally require extensive information. It’s limited to searches which “rarely use full search results.” Meaning, there’s no need to click-through to a dedicated page for more information. Here’s a screenshot: 

Google link-free SERP screenshot

Ordinarily, this same query (time in new zealand) would indeed show the answer box. But, that would also be followed by paid and/or organic listings. With this experiment, those aren’t appearing. Instead, searchers are given a “Show all results” option. It works for calculations:

Google link-free SERP screenshot 2

The Google link-free SERP also appears for conversions:

Google link-free SERP screenshot 3

But, it does not work with other types of queries. For instance, “senators lightning score” does not trigger the answer-box only result:

Google SERP example

Danny Sullivan, public liaison of search tells Search Engine Land, “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.”

Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search and like news. History buff, movie and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband. Owen is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.          

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