With foreshadowing for months, Google officially launched their “Knowledge Graph” last week (5.16). The Graph provides users with popular facts about people, places and things next to Google’s traditional results.
The Graph is using a new technology that will open up a whole new realm of search. Gone are the days when we search for pages that match our query terms, but now we can search for what Google is referring to as “entities”, or concepts, that the search words describe.
Google is looking to do more than engage their users. They want to connect their users in a way that, until now, has never really been accomplished.
The Knowledge Graph has already been compared to Wikipedia. Anyone who has ever used Wikipedia has probably, at one time or another, gotten lost in the search; linking yourself from one topic to another using the one before it as the anchor. It’s an endless cycle of search and knowledge. That’s kind of what the Knowledge Graph does for the user.
For example, one user searched for “The Simpsons” and a panel popped up that included everything from The Simpsons series to a similar animated series and even actors within those shows. Each was hyperlinked so that the user could explore each term within the panel. Users are saying that not only do you find what you’re looking for with the Knowledge Graph, but you’ll probably find something you didn’t know you wanted to find until you find it. Get it?
Google already announced that they’ve compiled over 3.5 billion facts. Google picks out the facts that they feel are most relative to your searched keywords, so don’t worry about becoming overwhelmed with an endless amount of information.
In typical Google fashion, there is no intention of stopping here. There are probably many future plans for the Knowledge Graph that haven’t rolled out. The head of Google research, Amit Singhal, even insinuated Google may already have something up their sleeve.
“This is just a baby step, in my view, to expose this to our users,” Singhal said.