Saturday, September 24, 2016

Google shows a random answer on Quora as a highlighted 'quick answer' on top of the results page

And this isn't just for this query alone. This happens for many queries. What makes this answer on Quora the most correct/helpful/useful for this particular query? Did Google vet the completeness and/or the correctness of this health-related answer given by a random Quora user? Why is this answer better than the far more authentic and professional answers available on the websites of hospitals, universities, journals, etc.? Someone might interpret Google's 'quick answers box' as an authoritative answer recommended by Google itself, and this answer could in fact be completely wrong, and this could lead to health problems, or worse, death(s)!

Update [Apr'19]: Similarly, it can be seen in the screenshot below that Google says there are currently 15 member nations in OPEC, whereas on the Wikipedia article you can see only 14 [Qatar left OPEC on 1st January this year, unknown to Google's algorithms]. The way Google's SERP has highlighted the number '15 nations' makes the user feel like it's the final, authentic answer needing no further checking. Pretty irresponsible I must say.

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