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Google OneBox is a separate display box within the SERPs where results from a search match is compiled. The OneBox uses search results from Google’s universal search. With OneBox, Google has found a way to integrate the results from its vertical search engines in the organic SERPs.
Google has expanded the functionality of OneBox with the Hummingbird update. Only specific search queries will trigger the display of Google’s OneBox. The Knowledge Graph is a special form of the OneBox.
In order to provide answers to specific questions that are as accurate as possible, Google has repeatedly experimented with the display of search results.
According to Google’s consolidated statements, user benefits are always the priority. The increasingly integrated OneBox has drastically reduced the space for organic search results for certain queries, therefore it could be assumed that OneBox is also intended as a tool to have users interact as long as possible with Google products. This increases the likelihood that these users will also click on an advertisement, which are controlled via Google AdWords.
Examples of Google OneBox applications
Google OneBox appears for many different searches. However, its functionality varies from country to country. The integration of vertical search results in the organic search on google.com is the most advanced in the US and the United Kingdom. The following results are displayed in a One Box:
- Local search results: If you search for a location or region, a separate box with additional information on this location or for this region will appear on the right side of the SERPs
- Results from Google Shopping: for searches which Google suspects a purchase intention, results from Google Shopping are displayed
- Weather forecast: if you search for a combination of weather + city/region, the OneBox will give information on the weather
- Results for sporting events: if certain current sporting events are entered into the Google Doodle, the result will be displayed in a OneBox
- Holidays can also be searched using Google: the result is displayed in the OneBox
Other triggers for the integration of a Google OneBox in the SERPs are:
- Stock prices:
In the US, even more search queries can be made directly on the Google search bar, where the results will appear in the OneBox.
Consequences for SEO
The introduction of Google OneBox has partially serious consequences for webmasters, resulting in a huge traffic loss. By inserting the OneBox above the organic search results space, possible organic hits on the first page of the search results is decreased and the users may get their desired result from the Google OneBox. One then has no need to visit any other website. Queries such as the weather can be conducted with just the Google search bar. In addition to a loss of traffic, websites that use Google AdSense can expect an additional decline in sales.
Especially in the areas affected by the Google OneBox, SEOs are well advised to improve on strong long-tails to minimize losses over the one- or two-word queries.
Google OneBox for businesses
With the Google OneBox for businesses, the search engine offers businesses the ability to retrieve relevant company data from an ERP or CRM systems through an individual Google search. This data is then presented in an overview and available for all users of an intranet.
- Interview in 2006 with the then Product Managing Director of Google. Accessed on 11/28/2013