Sorry for the click-bait title, that was just for fun. But really, you won’t believe this unless you see it.
Imagine for a second, you’re car shopping. Hybrids have been on your mind, so you decide to do a little research and get some info on Toyota’s flagship hybrid, the Prius. You open up Chrome and start typing:
“T-o-y-o-t-a <space> p-r-i-u-s <space> m-” and then you see Chrome predictions populate and you see your query “Toyota prius mpg”, but there’s something else under it…
Oh look at that, there’s the answer to my query that I haven’t completed yet. WAIT, WHAT?
It looks like Google has taken its mission to take the world’s information and “make it universally accessible and useful” another step further by displaying knowledge graph-type results and displaying them directly in Chrome’s desktop address bar. It looks like Google was playing with this concept on mobile earlier this year.
We’ve seen it show up with a few different types of queries:
Ages are displaying…
Timeframes of significant events…
Sizes of countries and states…
Err, not exactly what I was looking for, let’s try that again. I backspace and delete the “a.”
Ah, there we go. It looks like the answers can change dynamically, maybe Chrome knows that it displayed an incorrect answer and provided you with another?
Go ahead and try it yourself (once you’re done reading this article of course). These are just some of the examples we have found thus far. Some required me to complete the entire query, and others didn’t. Now, what does this mean? Well for users, they would be getting the answers to their questions faster and with less effort. For us SEOs, this could mean a lot more.
If a user is looking for a simple answer, what is their incentive to click or finish that search result? If Google starts bringing in more information into its address bar, we could end up seeing a decline in search volume and possibly traffic to our most user-friendly, informative pages. This is a huge development and really pushes the need for properly formatted markup on your site’s pages.
My version of chrome is 45.0.2454.85 (really Google? Just a 45.1 would suffice), and we are currently testing adobe acrobat pro older and newer versions. I couldn’t get the knowledge-graph type data to show in the address bar of an incognito tab, but these results did display while logged in and out of my Google account.
Keep an eye out for other types of queries that show these kind of results, and let us know what you find!