Google have announced a new way to search called the “Knowledge Graph”. The basic premise is that hitherto search has been all about matching specific keywords to search queries. That gives a set of results which doesn’t take into account your interests or give the Stumbleupon like ability to discover new and exciting things, or simply to find related information that might be of interest.
Google give three examples of how the Knowledge Graph could help you find what you’re looking for (or indeed what you weren’t looking for but will find interesting or useful.
1) Finding what you’re looking for: Google use the example of a search for the “Taj Mahal”. Google now understand the difference between a monument in India in front of which the iconic image of Princess Diana was taken and your local Indian restaurant by the same name. Google now understands the difference and can narrow your search results to just the “Taj Mahal” that you’re interested in removing results for others from view.
2) Key Facts Summarised: With the Knowledge Graph Google can summarise relevant content around the topic and present it as a side bar. For instance if you search for a famous person they could include biographical information and key facts about their life. Google use historical searches to discover what information people have previously searched for to determine what facts you’re likely to be interested in. They point out that it’s not simply a catalogue of information, but it’s the intelligence of understanding the inter-relationships that’s key.
3) Discovery: This is perhaps the most interesting aspect of Google’s Knowledge Graph – it can help you make unexpected discoveries. These are things you’d probably never have searched for because you never knew the information was relevant or even existed. Google’s example is a search for Matt Groening the creator of the Simpsons, Google’s Knowledge Graph reveals a surprising source for the names of the Simpson’s characters.
Google claim that they can now sometimes help answer your next question before you’ve asked it, because the facts they show are informed by what other people have searched for. How this will affect product search and selling on the Internet has yet to be seen, but it’ll most certainly affect your website ranking as it’s rolled out across the world. To date it’s being gradually rolled out to US English users and they’re also tailoring the experience for mobile users.