President Barack Obama will deliver his 2015 State of the Union at 6pm PT tonight. If you didn’t know the time, you might turn to Google or Bing for an answer. And there, the White House hopes to inform you through a special post it made to rank for that query.
Right now, the State of the Union is a popular search topic in the United States, as reflected on Google Trends:
Many of those State of the Union searches involve people just wanting to know the time, as reflected by the related searches that appear at the end of a main State of the Union search results page:
It’s a similar phenomenon seen with other live events, such as with the Super Bowl. In fact, it’s so common for the Super Bowl that both Google and Bing will provide a direct answer with the time at the top of their results, like this at Google:
Google’s finally getting the Super Bowl start time right, by the way. Last week, Google was listing information about last year’s Super Bowl game.
But for the State of the Union, neither Google nor Bing are showing direct answers. You just get a list of web results, as this example from Bing shows:
A direct answer is much nicer. Without it, of course, it does mean various web sites can try to grab a share of the search clicks. It’s a common-enough occurrence for every Super Bowl, as we’ve covered before.
This year, the White House itself has worked to make sure it’s one of the web sites providing an answer. Consider Google’s results below:
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