Google's Knowledge Graph is tapping into resources such as Wikipedia, Freebases and their own Google products such as Google Local, Maps and Shopping to create what they refer to as a Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Graph is a huge collection of the people, places and things in the world and how they're connected to one another. Google is referring to the Knowledge Graph as the next frontier
in Search. (They are always making reference to Star Trek and the need to build an automatic, richer search experience. They are right as this does involve a significant change in how certain results will be displayed in their web results.
Semantic search rolled out from Google where Google tries to serve up relevant results based on related objects, facts and relationships around a search query. This is a switch from traditional keyword recognition and is an early phase of Google switching from an information engine to a knowledge engine. Google is using the Knowledge Graph to enhance a user's search results. As Google puts it,
"...The words you search with can often have more than one meaning. With the Knowledge
Graph we can understand the difference, and help you narrow your results to find
just the answers you're looking for." If you have had the chance to try it out, it is pretty cool as you get a panel of additional information based on your search query. You can see key facts about your search with the most useful and interesting information
for that particular topic, based on the questions other people have asked.
Let's say you searched for one of your favorite bands or artists. I performed a search for "Van Halen" and I get a brief bio a list of popular songs, albums and the year that they were released and some "people also searched for" alternatives. It is a richer experience, but it is not unlike what ASK was doing a few years back with their ASK 3-D experience.
Or try a search for a famous person say "Julius Caesar" and you get some additional information about the Roman general.
As a user, I like these enhanced results providing that the data is accurate. As a marketer, the Knowledge Graph panel results tend to take up advertising space and may have an impact on click through rates. Should Google display information such as a phone number or menu listing that perhaps resulted in users having to click through to your site to find, then you may lose some of these clicks. Now when users perform a search for generic terms, ambiguous terms or famous person searches such as for “Leonardo da Vinci” you may get Wikipedia results, personal facts such as date of birth, date of death, education, works of art, and related Renaissance painters through an additional panel of results that takes you to related items. Users will find answers to their questions but may now explore more than they were originally looking for.
Overall I think this can provide a richer experience. It is an evolution of search and I am all about experiencing relevant results and being able to find information that is accurate and having the ability to find the information I am looking for quickly.
Additional Resources on Google's Knowledge Graph
Official Announcement from Google
The Knowledge Graph for Mobile and Tablet Search
Google Launches Knowledge Graph to Provide Answers, Not Just Links
Google Search Just Got 1,000 Times Smarter
Google Launches Knowledge Graph, 'First Step in Next Generation Search'