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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Google's "answer box" gives direct answers

An "answer box" is a SERP feature, usually displayed in a light-gray box, that occurs above the organic results (left column) and tries to directly answer a question.

This Moz article lists 101 practical Google Answer Box queries or variations of them that you can pose and get direct answers. 

So, where do these answer boxes come from? Some, like stock tickers and weather charts, are clearly custom designed and can involve exclusive data partnerships. When it comes to the factoids, though, most of these answers come directly from Google's Knowledge Graph.

I tried adapting some of the queries in the article designed to fetch US-related info to find India-related facts. I learned that the size of New Delhi (1484 km2) is more than the size of Bangalore (741 km2) and Hyderabad (650 km2) put together.

Surprisingly, it can't currently (as of August 8th, 2013) tell what the size of Mumbai is or give the answer for "How tall is the Qutub Minar" though it can tell us that the Space Needle in Seattle is 184 metres long. Google doesn't seem to know India too well to answer some questions directly. 


A broad view of live traffic of major Indian cities can now be seen from the answer box itself. Don't let the green lines (indicating fast moving traffic) in the map showing Bangalore traffic fool you into thinking everything is hunky-dory. The screenshot above was taken well-past midnight.

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