The latest announcement out of Google is that, starting today, it will begin rolling out a new way of displaying and interacting with search results. They’re calling it the Knowledge Graph and according to Google’s search team and Amit Singhal, it will take the hard work out of search.
From Keywords To Concepts
Matt Cutts has said that this new functionality is moving away from raw keywords to actually understanding the concepts and interrelations between different things that might be applicable to a given search. It allows you to search for things that Google knows about, (whether it’s landmarks, celebrities, cities or more) and instantly get information that is relevant to your query.
This is, the search team says, the critical next step toward a new generation of search that will understand the world in ways comparable to actual people.
This change will apparently enhance search in three major ways…
Finding The Right Thing
When you search for a keyword, Google doesn’t really understand the context. To use their own example, when you search for “Taj Mahal” it can’t tell whether you mean the building, or the musician. Now, it’ll offer you the option to select one set of results over the other, depending on which you want.
The Knowledge Graph will generate a summary of important information on the topic you’re searching for and display it alongside results. They determine these facts based on their collected data about what people have searched for in that context in the past, and summarising it.
It’ll also provide you with results that are inter-related to what you’re looking for, making it easy to follow a specific thread of enquiry, or branch off where appropriate.
Increased Search Depth & Breadth
According to Google, the last (and best) enhancement will be bringing together disparate, but relevant information, and displaying it together by considering the search patterns of users in the past. This, they say, will provide additional, potentially useful information and correlations that you weren’t aware of before.
For now, the Knowledge Graph is only being rolled out in the US, but Google hopes to start bringing it to your local Google version soon. They don’t say how soon that is, but check back regularly and we’ll keep you up to date.