A year ago, Google released Google Squared, a tool designed to display structured data from the web. Squared wasn't so great, but they've taken the fruits of that project and turned it into something truly useful: Simple, sourced answers to search queries.
Often people search to find basic facts, such as [catherine zeta-jones date of birth] . Three months ago we began using Squared technology to highlight answers for these types of searches in snippets. Today we're expanding that effort so that when you're looking for this kind of simple fact in search, we give you more accurate answers right at the top of your results, sourced from across the web. If you click on the new "show sources" link, a box will slide down with websites that corroborate your answer.
When you show the sources, you'll also see the relevant text from each source in bold so you can scrutinise how accurate or trustworthy the source seems. Google says they've been rolling out the new feature this past week, but I'm not currently seeing the short answer anywhere in my search results, so it may be one of Google's commonly slow rollouts. Either way, here's looking forward to using this regularly.
Understanding the web to find short answers and "something different" [Official Google Blog]