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No answers.com links in top-right  (View post)

DPic [PersonRank 10]

Thursday, October 2, 2008
9 years ago8,706 views

Google isn't linking words to their answers.com page in the top right corner of SERPs anymore. Is this permanent?

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

The links still show up here and they're pretty useful. I doubt that Google will remove a valuable feature.

DPic [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

They appear to be back. I guess that answers my "Is this permanent?" question. They were definitely gone temporarily though. I was surprised. I thought perhaps they were going to start linking to someone else other than answers.com

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

What were you searching for? Not all words are linked anyway...

DPic [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I tried a bunch of terms. I don't remember which exactly. They were all dictionary words.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Is it possible this was one of those prototypical tests shown to a portion of users only?

DPic [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I'm not sure what they could have been testing. It didn't last very long either. I noticed it because i was typing something in to Google to look up a word. By the time Ionut replied, i tried again and everything was back to normal. Perhaps they could have been making some change that resulted in them temporarily removing those links. I don't know.

GG Sturgeon [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

Haha so glad I found this post because now the Answers.com link isn't there for me. The Answers.com link in Google searches has become my life line since I developed this obsession with blogging and I've come to rely on it as my spelling/definition/synonym crutch so I don't look so stupid and lame. And not having it there has totally thrown off my daily blogging rhythm. But since seeing this post I'm going to just trust that will soon return for me as well. Thx.

Above 8 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Andy Baio [PersonRank 2]

9 years ago #

It's still gone for me. Very frustrating, I'm going to whip up a Greasemonkey script to put it back.

John Honeck [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I'd love to know how many clicks those links get in a month.

Jesper Jarlskov [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

I don't get a link for house (or the danish tranlation of it) nor computer, from the danish google page.

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

House is not a link any more.
Tested with Google.com from Finland.

Jim Reardon [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

You can add the Merriam Webster dictionary Subscribed Links; it integrates into the results themselves, but on the plus side the actual definition is included, so you don't have to click to read it.

google.com/coop/sl

Tim L. Walker [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

Not linking for me any more either...

Miguel Marcos [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

I'm located in Spain and the definition link is gone in searches as of right now. I use it a lot, bring it back, please!

Cormac [PersonRank 3]

9 years ago #

No sign of it in Ireland.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

The link's gone for me in the UK now too.

Eugene Villar [PersonRank 5]

9 years ago #

Hmmm... I always use [define:___] when doing manual spell-checking (and checking to see if I got the meaning of a word right).

Qubert Quigsly [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

The link's gone in new zealand. I was using it extensively over the past few days, too.

KenKuhl [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

The links gone for me (in the US).
That link will be missed.
I've told many users about that feature of Google, and now it won't be there anymore?

Sein Lin [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

I don't see it anymore. But, I don't use it very often anyway.

V [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

Nooo! I used to use it very often..

I guess their deal with answers.com has ended or something.

hope someone whips up a greasemonkey script soon..

Tomi Häsä [PersonRank 5]

9 years ago #

Here in Finland using Windows XP no links for me for any words such as finland, firefox, gauss, google, helsinki, house, internet, ipod, linux, lol, parallel, pc, ps3, xbox, sauna, springsteen, university, wii, windows, and yahoo.

Xavier Lur [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

Thanks for sharing! I didn't even notice it at all...

[signature removed]

Surendra Kumar [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

This step may be due to word suggestions recently made permanent when we are searching in google now a days!!

Caesar [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

Gone in India too.

Mark O'Neill [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

Just use the "define:" search command – it works perfectly. It's not the end of the world.

Mike A [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

This is very annoying. I really relied on that simple link and used it almost daily. Bring it back Google!

Ben Allen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

It's gone.

Hanan Cohen [PersonRank 7]

9 years ago #

Gone in Israel.

Answers.com is an Israeli company.

I know the CEO and some of the workers there.

It's probably a major pain for them.

ken grabowski [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

Anyone know how or what to replace it with, should we all just switch from google and shoot ourselves in the foot in the process.
How can I be updated on this?????
Ironically, it took many, many google searches this morning to find out it I did something in error to remove the link, before I found this answer here, whatever this is??

Hanan Cohen [PersonRank 7]

9 years ago #

Who knew Yahoo! have their own in-house dictionary?

education.yahoo.com/reference/ ...

alek [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Gone for me also in Colorado ... and ditto what others said that this was a pretty handy feature – bet they got a ton of traffic.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> I guess their deal with answers.com has ended
> or something.

Google in 2007 told me "Google has no formal relationship with Answers.com".

Answers.com at the time told me

<<The only formal relationships we have with Google are our Adsense advertising contract – we put their ads on many of our pages – and the fact that we use Google as a "backup" service when someone sends us a query that we can’t answer. As we’ve stated numerous times on our earnings calls, the "Definition" link is an informal relationship without an agreement of any kind.>>

velkr0 [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

gone in canada too! *sigh

David Sarokin [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

Gone in Washington DC, as well.

I won't miss it. But I must say, it's always bugged me that definitions don't simply show up in search result snippets. Hey Google! Make is easy! Just put the definition right there.

Matt [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

It was a good thing for Answers, but it never really made sense why google could handle it themselves.

DJ [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

I hope that the definition link is not permanently gone. It was a feature that I used often, and, as such, I cannot believe that it is not available today. Hopefully, Google is testing out something that messed up with their coding and the feature is temporarily unavailable. If that is not the case, then I hope that they release a statement as to why the definition links are no longer available. Perhaps Google is switching from Answers.com to a new dictionary website; this could be so, as they made the transition from Dictionary.com to Answers.com a few years ago.

DPic [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I don't think it is permanently gone. I suspect that they are just switching from answers.com I liked the link, but didn't like answers.com – i only used it for convenience. A nicer, cleaner website would be much better

Perhaps Google will be using their own website that does what answers.com does and compiles information from various sources like dictionaries and wikipedia, etc.

mrbene [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Hmm... I never liked the weight of the Answers.com page, and I seem to remember Firefox moving "dict" keyword from linking results at dictionary.com to linking results at answers.com... so I manually configure "dict" to go to dictionary.reference.com now. However, a recent update to dictionary.reference.com (now "An Ask.com service") makes the page weight more in line with Answers.com... Mebbe there's an RSS interface?

Either way, it's foreign to me to use a search engine to look for a definition. It's using a generic tool for a specific task. Not efficient.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> But I must say, it's always bugged me that definitions
> don't simply show up in search result snippets. Hey
> Google! Make is easy! Just put the definition right there.

Depending on the query they even show dictionary sites in the results but they snippets shown are often along the lines of... say, for the word "house":

<<Dictionary entry for "House"
- Defines the word house in our comprehensive online dictionary. Find synonyms, definitions, antonyms and more ->>

In that same space, the site could have put the actual definition of the word instead of the meta description as it is (not a full definition perhaps, but at least a start... it would often be good enough if you want to quickly look up a word, next to using the "define" operator). But it seems it's also Google's doing, for taking into account the meta description instead of extracting straight from the relevant content part.

mjc [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

I loved this feature! Used it all the time.
I wonder why they removed it? It was useful and very unobtrusive.

hmm [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

Google should have announced this change.

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Conclusion: the feature is gone – globally.

OT: Mentioned in this thread.. what 'sauna' and 'springsteen' have in common, listed in dictionary, I know, but...

OhNO [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

I thought I had a problem with Firefox, updated and it still didn't work. Tried IE same problem. This was a feature I used daily, Thanks for posting this Philipp, otherwise I'd still be thinking the problem was at my end.

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I know it sucks to lose this feature. You could try to use a Subscribed link for Merriam-Webster Online. It doesn't trigger for every search but I saw it appear for several queries.

google.com/coop/profile?user=0 ...

RHH [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

Think of the Googlewhackers. I know I am.

kas [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

My links were gone for about a day, but they're back here in Boston. But Googlewhack is still down. :-(

MarkM [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

I never liked answers.com, I wish google would revise the feature so it linked to a better source or an ad-free source (higher quality vs speed of loading)

Tomi Häsä [PersonRank 5]

9 years ago #

Does anyone know of any web browser plug-in for answers.com or dictionary.com? I already have Google Toolbar, so it might be possible to just make a button for answers.com/dictionary.com/wikipedia.org. Of course, not much of a trouble simply adding a bookmark for one of them also. :)

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I believe the definition link is back now.

mrbene [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Tomi: Easiest is with Firefox or Chrome, modify the bookmark of a search result page by replacing the search term with %s. You also need to specify a keyword. The you use this by typing (in the address bar):

Firefox – note the space separator:
<keyword> <search term>

Chrome:
<keyword><tab><search term>

Prolly can do this in other browsers too. Save using the mouse – "alt-d, keyword, space, search term, enter" as opposed to "alt-d, tab, search term, enter, hand to mouse, click (maybe)". But then, I'm prolly one of the few people still using ctrl-1 through ctrl-9 to select tabs.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

(The dictionary link is back, I added an update...)

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I'm getting two kinds of links now:

   1) Definition link next to my query in Google searches
google.com/url?q=answers.com/d ...

   2) My search query itself is linked in Google Image Searches
images.google.com/url?q=answer ...

Was this the same behavior as before?

GG Sturgeon [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

HOORAY! Me is happey

The link has returned here in Ohio as well, along with the word "definition" to help state the obvious to all those non-wordie folks in googleland who have yet to discover the beauty and convenience of this feature.

But while I was jonesing for my lovely link, rifling through all the piles of OOOOOOOOOOO's in the Gunk box, I came across this nice little fix.

addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firef ...

A very handy and not at all annoying Mozilla Firefox Add-On, that you have total control over whether or not the balloon window pops up.

And once again thanks for the post, was glad to know I wasn't alone. :)

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

That Flickr image is not showing any more in this thread..

But house, sauna etc. have their definitions again.

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

[put at-character here]Juha-Matti Laurio, Yeah, I made a change earlier today to my account and it seems to have broken something. Let me try posting it again:

My query is the link text:


farm4.static.flickr.com/3281/2 ...


Separate definition link:


farm4.static.flickr.com/3174/2 ...

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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