January 23, 2014
Google Expands Its Knowledge Graph Into Search Results
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Google announced that it has expanded its “knowledge” this week. On Wednesday the company that has expanded its reach to mobile phone operating systems, self-driving cars and numerous futuristic tech projects once again refocused on its roots – namely, the business of Internet searches. Google began to leverage its Knowledge Graph directly into search results, and this new implementation will provide background information on the person or organization behind a website.
On the search results page a gray drop-down arrow and text with the name of the site’s owners/creators will appear next to the green URL text. This will allow users to learn more about the topics, and more importantly the content creators, of the sites offered in the search results. At present this additional informational widget only appears in desktop search results.
In a post on its Inside Search, the Official Google Search Blog, on Wednesday the company noted that by providing more information about the websites will help users find the right results.
“As you choose the right search result for you — be that about the American Civil War or back pain — you want to know where the results come from,” wrote Bart Niechwiej, Google software engineer in the post. “To help you learn more about the websites you see in your search results, starting today you may see more information about them directly on the results page when you search on your desktop.
“The information you’ll see is based on the Knowledge Graph, Google’s interconnected understanding of the things that exist in the world,” Niechwiej added. “As we expand the Knowledge Graph, we expect to give you more information about more websites - making it easier for you to choose the right result.”
It has been long said that “knowledge is power,” so no doubt this is Google’s way of leveraging the power of search by providing a few more details and presenting it under the guise of “knowledge.” However, as Engadget noted some of this “knowledge” should be taken with a grain of salt.
“Site information is gleaned from Google’s Knowledge Graph, and for every site we’ve checked thus far, that means the data’s coming from Wikipedia - so don’t go thinking that this new cursory background check is 100-percent accurate,” wrote Engadget’s Michael Gorman on Wednesday. “Google’s not providing the extra info about all sites, either, just those that are ‘widely recognized as notable online.’”
It isn’t clear who at Google determines what is deemed to be “widely recognized” or the criteria used, but as Techcrunch points out, this “means that it’s not likely that you’ll see some random person’s blog on page 10 of Google’s search results getting the same treatment.”
Google’s Knowledge Graph is in essence the company’s collector of raw data that has been interwoven with contextual relevancy. It was first introduced in 2012 as a way to make Google Search “smarter” as it was infused with a greater understanding of people, places and things. Last year during the 2013 I/O keynote, Google senior VP Armit Signhal even declared "the end of the search as we know it" as Google provided greater integration of the Knowledge Graph into Google Search.
Last year it was noted that Google’s Knowledge Graph could be used to answer a series of common questions that have a definite answer, and now with this latest improvement the source of those answers is being made clear as well.