My furnace died today. I went to Google and queried “replace furnace”.  Here’s what I got:
replace furnace
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If you are focused on just ranking #1 for “HVAC”, I am never going to get to your lead funnel. Well played HomeAdvisor. Well played.

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13 Response Comments

  • Adam Davies  March 16, 2016 at 2:49 am

    I’m seeing completely different results with no answer pack at all. Where you logged in at the time? I see the HomeAdvisor article at 7th position, so maybe it’s just because they lost visibility?

    • Andrew Shotland  March 16, 2016 at 8:42 am

      I still get the result using an incognito browser. It’s possible it changes based on geography or other Google mysteries.

  • Tim Colling  March 16, 2016 at 11:25 am

    It’s getting harder and harder to show up in search results when Google hijacks the results for its own purposes. The trick now is to figure out how to appear in these new hijacked results!

  • Andrew Shotland  March 16, 2016 at 11:33 am

    +1 Tim. I think that Google really likes the combination of the structured table of data + good keywords/writing + domain authority.

  • Ewan Kennedy  March 16, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    In the UK this morning I saw HA in organic around 7th for “replace furnace” with no Answer Pack but the Answer Pack appeared tops for all queries including furnace + replacement + cost.

  • Sean Marshall  March 17, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    So did you go with a HomeAdvisor pro? Where/how did you find the HVAC company you ultimately hired (if you hired one)?

    • Andrew Shotland  March 18, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      We called 3 HVAC companies in the area that we had personal referrals for. We should have all the bids this weekend.

  • Shelly Fagin  March 18, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    I see the same result & Answer Pack here in Houston Andrew, while logged in to my browser. Interesting.

  • Tim  March 22, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Andrew, I work in the automotive industry. Do you think a auto dealer could take advantage of this somehow and post car prices?

    • Andrew Shotland  March 22, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      It’s not a slam dunk to make these appear Tim, but certainly seems worth a shot. When our clients rank for these, they tend to send a fair amount of traffic.

  • Joe Goldstein  March 22, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Now that’s really interesting. I’m not seeing any structured markup or other cues from HomeAdvisor that specifically pushes that table. The weird part is that you got the table for (relatively rare) oil furnaces, but five miles away I got the table for (extremely common) electric furnaces:

    Safe to say they’re just throwing crap against the wall and seeing which clicks stick?

    • Andrew Shotland  March 22, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      I think the algo is driven by:
      1. Domain/page authority
      2. Text that appears to answer the query
      3. Easy to understand page structures (broken up into sections that target specific queries, tables, prices, etc.-schema not necessary but helps)

      I am now seeing the electric furnace results. I wonder if that changed based on the search behavior driven by this post?

  • Charlie  March 26, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    I think its a semantics association between what you ask and what you get. Which is obvious I guess.

    In Florida we have HVAC companies everywhere but we don’t regularly have market up table results like this.

    If we do get something its the normal Google scrape but it does correlate with Google Product ads at the top.

    Were those table results ads?