Google: It's Not A Good Idea To Build Web Sites On Public Data

Oct 6, 2015 - 8:35 am 20 by

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I don't want to rain on anyone's parade but I wanted to share a quote from Gary Illyes of Google, one he made at SMX East last week. He said, if you are building a web site on public data, then that is probably not a good idea. This is not an exact quote, but that was the gist of it.

The question came up in the Meet the Search Engines panel last Thursday.

As you know, Google answers are often sourced and shown as facts at the top of the search results. If the query can be answered based on data that is publicly available, such as how tall is a the statue of liberty, how old is obama, what is the capital of New York, etc - then you are likely in trouble.

Google surfaces answers for all those types of queries, they call them "Knowledge Cards." Of course, there are times Google will link to a source, those are called "Featured Snippets" but even those don't likely have a huge click through rate.

The Knowledge Cards don't have any click through rate, as there are no links. On mobile the answer can be read back to you and you don't even have to look.

So true, basing a new web site around public data isn't a great idea on getting traffic to your site. Unless you can answer a query that Google cannot with the data in a very smart way.

Here is when I tweeted it:

Here are others tweeting it also:

I don't believe Gary said you need something more, but rather Duane Forrester said that.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

This post was pre-written and scheduled to be posted today.


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