Online Innovation July 16th, 2012
Google is doing a lot of tweaking in its system lately with the main aim of delivering better results to its end users. With the Panda and Penguin in place, who would have thought that Google has a lot more in its arsenal to further make its user experience more direct and to say the least all-human? You got that right, Google just made another update and, take note, this is way cooler than the previous changes that the search engine giant have had carried out. Google Knowledge Graph, as the new feature is called, is the search engine’s latest attempt to provide better and direct answers in its search results.
Google Knowledge Graph adds boxes full of factoids to the results page pertaining to the search term keyed in by the user. It covers a wide variety of subjects including cities, landmarks, well known personalities and sports teams just to name a few. Basically, the main intent behind this feature is to make search engines think more like humans by tapping into the collective intelligence of the World Wide Web and draw out information the way people do.
To explain the Knowledge Graph further, let us say that you did a search for “William Shakespeare.” Prior to the Knowledge Graph, Google will essentially deliver you with results that match your keyword queries and the first link that is likely to appear on the top of the page is Wikipedia. But now, you will be able to see snippets of information from Wikipedia or from other sources on the right side of the search results page, including a short summary of who Shakespeare was, his birth date, and so on. The new feature will also draw related searches relevant to your query. And if Shakespeare is still alive today and has a Google+ account, you will also be able to get his Google+ profile link.
How does Knowledge Graph do all these? According to Google, the feature has been constructed to tap into a numerous reliable sources of information such as Wikipedia, World CIA Fact Book, Freebase among others. In addition, Knowledge Graph also draws upon the relationship between objects in order to figure out what people actually would like to know.
This new feature, which has gradually rolled out in the US last May 16, will be available to all users in the coming weeks or months. Google is also planning to expand the Knowledge Graph on mobile and tablet devices, as well as languages aside from English.
There are many good things that can be said about the Knowledge Graph, making it an obviously cool update.
First, users can now find what they are exactly looking for. As mentioned earlier, with this new feature in place, you will be able to narrow down your search results to what you really wanted to know. Google can now understand even the most nuanced meanings behind certain queries and find information the way you are likely to do when you are searching for something.
Second, you get to receive accurate snippets of details about your search. For instance, if you search for Marie Curie, more than just giving you her full name and birth date, Google will also supplement those information with other interesting facts about Curie such as the elements she discovered.
Lastly, there is a possibility for you to gain new information that you have not encountered before. With all these facts delivered straight to you whenever you make your search, the Knowledge Graph will open a whole new set of queries that you may find interesting.
Of course, it’s too early to tell what impact the Knowledge Graph will have on SEO. However, one thing is for sure, there will be changes in search engine rankings. There’s also a clear statement behind this update that web masters should take note of, with the added intelligence that the search engine is now equipped with, it is essential to create comprehensive content that covers all the facts and users will find relevant and interesting. The roll out of Knowledge Graph only solidified Google’s position to deliver direct answers to queries and this is something that web masters will have to work on.
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