Google Knowledge Graph: Semantic Search is Here
You might remember our article about how difficult is to get clean, relevant information in Google and how research and documentation might turn into a drag if you don’t have specific guidelines to oversee your work. Apparently, Google has been listening to the criticism as well and has announced this week a interesting new tool which will be added to the company’s impressive portfolio.
Knowledge Graph: More Rich Information to Our Search Results
Meet the Knowledge Graph, a brand new information seeking technology that will enrich and forever change the act of “searching”. Google has designed the Knowledge Graph in such a way, that it almost reminds us of artificial intelligence. The Graph will be able to “understand” the relationship between the words submitted into the search query and will not simply view them as a random line of characters.
For some, this might look like some minor change in the way we usually do things but the shift could end up transforming the whole Internet into a gigantic virtual Wikipedia-like library. The Knowledge Graph will combine link like results with statistical data, images and movies so the results end up being as relevant as humanly possible.
The change was predicted a while ago by the Wall Street Journal and will start showing up to users who use US English Google.com very soon. Don’t think that the Google interface will look very different from what you see now, the only thing that you’ll see extra are some information boxes popping up whenever you do a relevant search.
Google Brings Smarter Search
Like, for example, looking for info about Frederic Chopin. The new Knowledge Graph (by the way graph=a diagram representing a system of connections or interrelations among two or more things by a number of distinctive dots, lines, bar) is all about connections. Think of Wikipedia and what it is like to read an article on the site. Let’s say you start off reading a piece about the Lord of the Rings, one click will get you to J.R.R.Tolkien’s page.
From there on, you click on to The Hobbit and then further on the page about children’s literature. The same experience will be provided by Google, with the exception that users will jump now from information box to information box. Google announced that it has secured more than 3.5 billion fact sheets thus connecting more than 500 million objects. So if you search something from the following categories you might expect to see the new information boxes:
- Actors, Directors, Movies
- Art Works & Museums
- Cities & Countries
- Islands, Lakes, Lighthouses
- Music Albums & Music Groups
- Planets & Spacecraft
- Roller Coasters & Skyscrapers
- Sports Team
To prevent the search results turn out to be useless, Google will utilize the facts that have closest relationship with the object in question. Also, for the eventuality, you might be looking for information about something whose name is utilized in different environments. Let’s say like Babylon, Google will pop out “See results box” for you. Did you mean the TV show? Or did you mean the ancient myth? Or maybe the rock band from Florida?
Semantic Search – Symbiosis Between Search Engines and Language
The Knowledge Graph will also try and nurture you. It will take into consideration your location, your likes and your recent search history in order to bring you the needed results. This is not the first time that Google has announced a major search revamping initiative. Some users will remember that back in January, Google introduce Search Plus Your World – a search functionality embedded in the Google+ social network, thus compiling information and updates provided by friends.
But the Knowledge Graph things to a more advanced and deeper level. Maybe for the first time, I am not critical of these changes and I agree with them. The “semantic search” initiative that Google’s taking right now will bring information closer to us and will refine the results. For example, if you’re going to ask “how many lakes are there in Finland?”, the SERP (search engine results page) will deliver a straight answer, besides links to other websites.
Google – Always Versatile
It’s somehow similar to other operations that Google can do, besides acting only as a search engine. So, let’s say you want to convert 100 pounds into USD. You could search for a conversion website or you could simply write on Google: “100 pounds into usd”. The semantic search initiative plans to deliver the needed answer, without having to browse through dozens of other websites. There’s still much work to be done until the final version, but I am with Google on this.
The official page for Knowledge Graph informs us that the update will be soon made to all Google.com users! What I like even more about this tool is that it will allow you to discover even more content, similar to what you’re looking, inside a well-connected system. This is like a good online filter bubble, that I’ve been talking about with Robert Scoble in my interview with him at The Next Web Conference. This update from Google proves to be a huge help for those that are doing their research on Google.
And not only for them. Like I said, sometimes, you just have a question that you have inside your mind and you just can’t get over it, be it a silly curiosity or something your teacher asked you at school. You’ll go home (or search right away on smartphone/tablet) and will search for it. The work that is being done right now on semantic search by Google will enable it to create an algorithm that will be able to “understand” and even mimic language so that it could reply to your query and help you in your research/curiosity.