Google has long went beyond simply pointing people in the right direction, for many queries, it provides answers and even guesses. Google is showing known or estimated release dates for movies, games and anything else that it's got enough data from trusted sources on.
Any query that has a movie or game title in it along with "release date" can trigger the answers One Box. However, it doesn't always show up since Google can't always guarantee the accuracy of the data.
When it does activate, it provides an estimated release date and mentions the sources where the data came from.
While the fact that Google provides answers for release dates may have only now been spotted, the feature itself is now almost a year old.
Last May, Google introduced a couple of features based on its experimental Google Squared structured data search engine. One of them is an answer box which provides, well, answers for a number of searches.
If you're looking for a birthday, or a straight up fact, Google will simply provide the answer, gathered from various sources around the web. All of the sources are cited so you can check out the original pages or see if Google's answer is accurate or reliable.
It works by relying on what the team at Google Squared has been doing, trying to make sense of all the seemingly unmanageable data all over the web.
Impressive data sets can be gathered from the web, but pulling from all the different sources, curating, sorting and cleaning up the data is a daunting task, especially since the web hasn't been paying too much attention to this.
Google is doing its best to educate web developers and website creators in the benefits of structured data, but, in the meantime it's also developing better means of understanding and organizing what is already there. [via Engadget]