Local Answer Box: A Work in Progress or TMI?

It’s always fun when Google releases new “answers” like the local Answer Box to see them going wrong. It shows the limits of the current technology and gives some idea how it works.

Leave it to Phil Rozek to find an unusual example of it not working quite right and have it give an answer to questions we never had.  What a guy won’t do for a link. You’d think he had studied at the feet of Andrew Shotland.

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Sebastien Socha also found this interesting example of a location answer where Google is showing the local carousel rather than the pack on a request for Momofuku locations (location set to New York, NY) when there are multiples.

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Whoah.. and this answer box on the search gallery furniture owner (location set to Houston, Tx) while not strictly a local address answer box demonstrates the exactly how far Google will go on this answering thing. Can we ask for just a little privacy please?

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7 thoughts on “Local Answer Box: A Work in Progress or TMI?”

  1. Ugh. the heart attack story and the anderson zip code blurb about zip codes are either grotesque, and/or examples of bs headline writing sensationalist news. It’s the kind of stuff you might see in rags while waiting at the supermarket or drug store check out line. Alternatively websites like Outbrain assemble and distribute these provocative headlines (and then stories) for advertising.

    The heart attack story is an affront on personal privacy. It puts this recent event in “headline” visibility. There is a current story in the serps also referencing that sad event.

    Why does google do this, and why do they need to do this, and of what value is to anyone? Is it going to be a problem for the owner of this furniture store? My feeling is most people with a severe medical emergency don’t need to see that news blasted everywhere. Their family doesn’t need or want it and neither do they.

    On the zip code headline. Isn’t that grotesque? Say I was a family thinking of moving to that area? Say I was the head of the economic development office for that area? How does google come up with this stuff??? And why do they highlight? And why do they feel they need to highlight it?

    This reminds me of the “snippet cr@p” google pulled by algo that might feed an smb’s local information in the old days. It was filled by algo. It might be 100% wrong in certain cases. But at least it didn’t become a grotesque headline.

    I suspect the spammers will study this hard, try and find ways to take advantage of this and start blasting grotesque or lying headlines about their own businesses or competitors within no time.

    its very grotesque.

  2. Curious and no logical reasoning examples like this put paid the lie that Skynet is upon us… or maybe it’s stumbling slobbering drunk. Sigh

    (puts feet up, has a cuppa, and taking Mike Blu’s sage advice gives thanks for the good things. G changes = meh… it’ll be all different again soon)

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