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Google Knowledge Graph: Why This is a Good Thing
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Google's Knowledge Graph has been rolled out to many, and will be coming to a SERP near you in the very near future.  On May 16, 2012 Google has changed their search offering from being based on keyword recognition to a more semantic based search based on related attributes.  The purpose?  To provide the “best”, most relevant results to a given user.  As Ben Gomes from Google states, Google is essentially switching “from strings to things.”  The search results will become tailored to deliver information that best related to the initial search result/query.

What is Google's Knowledge Graph?

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'

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posted by Jody @ 5:30 AM  
  • At 2:46 PM, Blogger Rob said…

    It is good but it will be interesting to see how users take to it. We know users are generally unwilling to try new things. But perhaps over time they will use this more.

  • At 2:47 PM, Blogger Rob said…

    I agree I think its a good idea however the real test will be if the average person uses it. As we know, the "average" user is resistant to change and in some cases will even revolt against those making the change. In this case Google could lose users (however I think that is unlikely).

  • At 1:06 AM, Blogger Mannualsubmission said…

    I believe your blog is excellent. i really like the way you organized your blog.

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