What is Google OneBox and Why is It Important for Online Shops?

What is Google OneBox?

Google OneBox has been around for many years, bringing many benefits to the billions of users who use Google every day. With that in mind, online businesses should do their best to make sure their brand appears there and in a way that makes their business shine.

What is Google OneBox?

Google OneBox is an element displaying relevant information directly in Google search results for specific types of searches. Depending on the search intent of the user, Google will often display the most useful information at the top (or side) of the results to benefit the user experience.

This often leads to users not clicking on the highest-ranked pages in the results because they have received sufficient information directly in the Google OneBox. We’ll touch on the SEO impact a bit later.

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Examples of Google OneBox

Google will interpret user searches and “decide” to display a Google OneBox when appropriate. Some of these are particularly interesting to online businesses.

So, what kinds of searches trigger Google OneBox?

Simple information

If Google thinks it can answer your question very directly, there’s a good chance it will display the information in a OneBox.

For example, asking questions like:

  • What time is it in New York?
  • 150 pounds in euros
  • Weather Manchester
  • When is Mother’s Day in Germany in 2024?

Google OneBox with a currency conversion

All in all, a simple question that requires a simple answer can often be displayed within a Google OneBox.

Extensive information with the Google Knowledge Graph

Google OneBox for Trusted ShopsA simple search term can also trigger a Google OneBox with much more information. This extensive information will often display on the right side of the screen, known as the Google Knowledge Graph (aka Knowledge Panel).

If Google determines this is an educational type of search, it might display some information directly on the right side of the screen.

For example, simply typing in “Manchester” would trigger a Knowledge Graph with some basic information about the city, including its size, population, a short Wikipedia text, and a link to the city in Google Maps.

What’s interesting for businesses is that if a user’s search is about a brand, there’s a good chance company information will be displayed in the Google Knowledge Graph. The example on the right shows the Knowledge Graph for Trusted Shops. We can see the address of their headquarters, their service rating (4.9 stars), a phone number, office hours, and even some review snippets.

Clearly, this can have an impact on your brand. Not only does having a Google Knowledge Graph somewhat legitimise your business in the eyes of the user, but it also provides an opportunity to create a great first impression, especially as reviews and ratings are often displayed here.

Information that can be explored in other Google search engines

If Google thinks your search is geared towards one of its other search engines, it will provide a preview in Google OneBox. You’ve most certainly seen this in the form of an image search, video search, Google Maps, or Google Shopping.

Google OneBox displaying other Google search engines

In the example above, Google will identify this search as a product search. Google will first display a few images from across the web, then include Google Shopping results, and then regular page results.

Clearly, Google prioritises the Google OneBox over its standard results in many cases.

Why Google OneBox is important for businesses

white box on a white background

Shutterstock/dimair

Google OneBox is meant to improve the user experience by providing quick answers directly in the search results.

In some cases, there can certainly be an SEO impact. Certain pages that rank highly for specific keywords and search terms may get ignored (i.e. not clicked) because the information is right there for the user.

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However, in other cases, the Google OneBox can be advantageous for online businesses.

If your shop has a Google Merchant Centre account and has products that appear in Google Shopping, it can be a great thing if Google Shopping posts appear at the top of a results page. Here, product reviews can be seen directly alongside product images, which attracts more clicks than a normal link in the standard results.

Likewise, if a user does some research on your business, having the Knowledge Graph appear gives your business some legitimacy. When users see that Google acknowledges your shop as a real business, that already gives users a positive impression about your business.

However, businesses should make an effort to go one step further and make sure their Knowledge Graph is up-to-date and accurate. Google generally gathers a lot of the information displayed in the Knowledge Graph from a variety of sources. However, for businesses, a good chunk of this information comes from the brand’s Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google MyBusiness).

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Keep in mind that your service rating (aka shop reviews, seller ratings) are often also displayed here. Generally, these reviews are also gathered from different sources. Google recognises a number of review platforms (e.g. Trusted Shops, Google Customer Reviews, Trustpilot) and uses them to display a rating for your business here.

That’s why reputation management is an important element of your business, particularly when it comes to your presence in search engines.

Recommended reading:
Why are Customer Reviews so Important for Your Online Shop?

With the Trusted Shops Reputation Manager, you can send review invitations to your customers and make sure they submit reviews to open review platforms (e.g. Trustpilot and Google Customer Reviews) to improve their overall rating. This will help harmonise your online reputation and make sure your business looks good on all the most relevant platforms.

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Conclusion

Although many content creators complain about Google OneBox, it can actually beneficial to online businesses. Whether it’s a Google Shopping carousel that is triggered or a Google Knowledge Graph that gets displayed, it’s an opportunity to drive traffic to your online shop while improving your online reputation, so make sure you keep an eye out on what is being displayed there when it comes to your brand and your most important keywords.

08/07/24
Alon Eisenberg

Alon Eisenberg

Alon Eisenberg has been the Content Manager UK at Trusted Shops since 2017. He graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor's degree in Communications in 2004.

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