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Google is increasingly including one-boxed content in search results.

See this one-boxed result from Quora, for instance:

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This feature is part of an effort first rolled out in 2009 to deliver more detailed results from Google's Knowledge Graph. Although it may provide value to searchers, its value to webmasters is debatable, and some think one-boxing makes Google a "scraper."

My question: How to know if my content is being one-boxed? Will Google notify me if my content is indexed as part of the "Knowledge Graph"? And will I be able to directly detect one-boxing in Webmaster Tools, or will I have to infer it from impression, SERP and CTR stats?

  • I do not believe you will ever know short of making queries and seeing it for yourself. This should be an advantage to your site and would help your site to stand out from the competition. Your CTR would increase. I actually want to know how to encourage it. – closetnoc Jun 25 '14 at 21:45
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You can't really find out how many times your links show up in a One-Box result but you can see how much traffic is coming in from those links by using the ved parameter in the referrer query string. This is a little complicated to explain in a single post but I'll wrap it up and provide links to articles you can read to fully understand how to do this.

Each link on the Google SERP contains a referral parameter with a value that contains information about that link. This value can be captured and analyzed for details on where the link was located on the SERP. The value is stored in the "ved" parameter. Various types of SERP links standard results, One-Box, sitelink, breadcrumb, adword, knowledge graph link, etc.

This article on the Moz blog from David Kelly has a good summary and tells some back info on Tim Resnik's work on first noticing patterns in the ved parameter and trying to decode them. http://moz.com/blog/inside-googles-ved-parameter

Here's a link referenced in that article that goes deeper on decoding these ved values: https://deedpolloffice.com/blog/articles/decoding-ved-parameter

And here's yet another series from Benjamin Schulz on decoding these values: http://gqs-decoder.blogspot.com/2013/08/google-referrer-query-strings-debunked-part-1.html

This is very cool stuff if you get into it. Good luck!

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  • Really interesting. Don't suppose there's a crowdsourced repository of decoded ved params out there? Maybe we should start one. – samthebrand Jun 27 '14 at 5:11
  • One of the links already has a pretty exhaustive list of ved codes once they've been decoded from Buffer Protocol and Base64. deedpolloffice.com/blog/articles/decoding-ved-parameter – K Finley Jun 27 '14 at 13:09
  • Been looking into this. A few interesting finds. One of them: not all one-boxed results are clearly indicated as non-normal search results by their ved params. Found a new type of param for certain one-boxed results, too: "sqi". Keep an eye out! – samthebrand Jul 16 '14 at 20:16
  • Also, here's a javascript ved decoder I put together: jsfiddle.net/samthebrand/ezUQB – samthebrand Jul 16 '14 at 20:39

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