You know how the Google search results pages started to show answer boxes to simple questions for the last couple of years? Well, these "Google Answers" are now appearing in the URL bar of Chrome when you search!
I've been preparing a lot of talks on Local & Mobile SEO, Mobile Testing and how cool ODL Bristol is.
To show people that I'm not just spuriously fabricating cool sounding figures on the spot, I've been including as many source backed stats as possible. You'd think more people would cite the data in their slide decks, but apparently it doesn't happen that often...
So, I was putting a slide together on smartphone adoption and found out that 2/3 of people in the UK own a smart phone or device. Thanks for the stat Offcom! Wanting to see what that fraction looked as a proper number, I swiftly started to type "population of UK" and before i could hit enter, the answer appeared in the URL bar!
Hitting 'Enter' you see the same figure in the answer box in SERPs with the data being pulled from the World Bank.
Not content, I tried to see what else this would and wouldn't work with.
Vauge or indirect queries don't
In a nutshell. what we're seeing is Google Instant results appearing in the URL bar without even having to actually perform the search. Neat huh?
N.B. This only works with chrome, similar checks in Firefox weren't even remotely fruitful.