Google Direct Answer is fucked up (sometimes)

You guys probably saw already that Google tends to answer directly to questions in the search result page. So, theoretically, you can read the answer right away without going and read the whole article, from which that answer is actually taken. That thing is called : Direct Answer Box, and it’s part of Google’s plan on expanding the knowledge graph.

I was just making some searches (yeah, I should read a book next time), and I typed in “diet coke bad for you” in Google.co.uk from Germany.

Here is the result Google presented to me:

cokebadforyou

Now, wait a minute….what???

Google is showing a result where there is written:

“There are no studies that indicate any long-term health risks from drinking diet soda. Diet soda (defined as calorie-free carbonated beverages sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame-potassium, or other non-caloric or minimally caloric sweeteners) is not harmful to health, well-being, or body composition.”

I was curious about this, because we all know the truth about this topic (that’s why lots of people are looking for that query… some sort of guilt in disguise). With the direct answer, the normal (and lazy) user, when finding this information provided by Google, is happy: “told ya, diet sodas are ok, so the fact I’m obese it’s not for that! Google told me!”

If you click the source of that answer (the link below), and you read the whole article, you see that the conclusion of that article is not straightforward as the part Google decided to put in the box:

Although swapping out soda for diet soda is a solid step in the right direction, the true solution is retraining and rewiring our body so we don’t need to chase that sugar fix; we can slay our addiction to sugar entirely.

Diet soda is better than normal soda (meh), but still, it’s better to eliminate completely the addiction to sugar and any type of substitutes.

Anyway, that blog is just reporting one out of 1000000000 opinions out there. For an important topic like this, it’s not right to show only one (wrong) extract of one blogpost giving one opinion, and put it in such prominence.

Lazy people of the internet will accept Google Direct Answer as solution to their doubts, and will act upon it. The topic is really important, and in cases like this, Google should not provide direct answers; it should provide the best information out there to allow concerned users to dig deeper into the problem and form their own opinion. 

Come on Google, you can do better!

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