When someone types a question in Google search be it the website or app most of the time he /she will get a complete answer at the top. This is a great feature which can save time. But sometimes the answers can be way off.
Now, why would Google show incorrect answers? A video from “Vox” YouTube channel answers that question. The short bits of info on top the search results are called “featured snippets”. These are considered as “rich answers” which means these answers are given more priority over the usual results.
Basically, the feature snippets give the information one is searching for without opening any links. These are also prioritized by Google Assistant. As the video explains Google determines those snippets using technology similar to its Knowledge Graph database but also doesn’t limit itself to verified sources the way Knowledge Graph does. That means featured answer can be taken from anywhere, even third party websites. How did low accuracy answers get the top priority? Google places more priority on answers which answer the question directly and in list format. It doesn’t matter if the info is accurate or not.
A lot of the questions are answered by these snippets. And by lot, we mean a ton. In fact, a study found that 31.2% of 1.4 million searches give answers through snippets. Not all of them are inaccurate but many of them could be. Because Google search uses automated whether it should keep a snippet or change it based on snippets performance. So a false statement could be a top answer. But Google is quick to fix those on a report.