The search engine known for not being evil has come up with the latest innovation in search. Google’s Knowledge Graph takes on the ambiguity that many searches seem to come up with. The problem is one of relevance. For example, when you type in “apple” and hit Go, in the past you could return searches for apple the fruit, Apple the company or any other item with apple in it like recipes, recommendations for spa treatments or apple flavored lip gloss.
You, the searcher, would have to manually filter out the irrelevant results and perhaps add other search keywords (eg. Apple cider) to make the results more relevant to you. Now Google aims to take on some of the burden of narrowing down your results to predict what you’re looking for and get it the first time around.
Move over, 10 blue links. Google Knowledge Graph is the search giant’s latest attempt to provide direct answers in its results instead of just sending people elsewhere.
The new feature, which is gradually rolling out to all users, adds boxes full of Wikipedia-like information to the search results page, covering subjects such as landmarks, celebrities, cities, media, and sports teams. The graph draws on public sources including Freebase, the CIA World Factbook, and, of course, Wikipedia. Some users started seeing these fact boxes last week, but now they’re official.
Google says it’s not just providing factoids with Knowledge Graph. It’s also drawing upon the relationship between objects to try and figure out what people want to know. For instance, the fact box for Marie Curie shows what elements she discovered, and the one for Charles Dickens shows what books he wrote, and many of these facts link to new searches on related topics. According to Google, the information that Knowledge Graph shows about Tom Cruise answers 37 percent of the next questions people ask about him.
It’s a nifty asset when trying to figure out what to ask in the first place. How many times have we sat down in front of the computer and thought out, “I know I want to find out the lowest price on skis but I want to make sure it’s for brick and mortar stores in my area because I don’t want to order skis online”. Sometimes we have a shadow of what it is we want and it may take several attempts to refine the results to get what we’re looking for. With Knowledge Graph, the stuff we type in usually works most of the time. If none of the suggestions seem to match what you need, then it will still provide usefulness by giving you what you know you don’t want. Mucho thanks to the peeps in Google for this awesome time saver! XOXO
May 21, 2012
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