Google Knowledge Graph Launches In the U.S.

Melanie Gross
May 16, 2012
Updated • May 16, 2012

Remember Bing's recent announcement that they would redesign search? Part of that is a redesign of Bing's search result page, and the new snapshot bar that is attached to the main search results listing. The idea here was to provide searchers with relevant and related information about the search they have conducted. The new feature is being rolled out on Bing U.S. first, and then later on for localized Bing versions.

Google today announced the launch of Knowledge Graph in the U.S., and guess what it resembles? Right, Bing's Snapshot Bar. While there has certainly been not enough time to react on Bing's announcement that fast, it is surprising that both companies made the decision to add a sidebar to search that is displaying related contents.

The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about—landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query. This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.

According to the announcement, the Knowledge Graph is enhancing search in three ways:

  • Finding the right thing - This basically displays different search term meanings, allowing you to filter the search for a specific term. A search for football for instance could display links to filter the search for American Football, or Football contents.
  • Summaries - Those display information about the search term right on the page. If you search for a person of interest for instance, you may see basic key facts right on the Google page.
  • Related information - This displays related information in the search, for instance other books by an author that you have looked up.

The database that Google is currently tapping in contains 500 million objects, and more than 3.5 billion facts. The Knowledge Graph is currently being rolled out to users of Google's U.S. search engine.

It is interesting to note that the screenshots shown by Google on the official blog do not show any advertisement. It is not clear where ads will be placed, but it is likely that we will see them in their usual spots in the search results (which means above the organic results, and in the sidebar, like mixed in the sidebar contents).

It is likely that the majority of users will find the display of information useful. For Google, it is another step into a "the Internet needs only one page" future, trying to keep searchers and users longer on their own properties.  I had no chance to test the change yet, and would like to know if the company links to the public sources they use.

What's your take on the Knowledge Graph feature?


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  1. am said on May 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Knowledge Graph has nothing to do with bing’s snapshot. It is different in concept. Google just digs deeper and showed again that they are 1 2 or 3 steps ahead.

  2. Uhtred said on May 17, 2012 at 12:06 am

    It’s a useful snapshot for general info, but probably not needed all the time… e.g. If you study & regularly search on Shakespeare’s works, how many times you want to see his birthplace and family tree mapped out etc? so can we toggle this on/off ?

    Wouldn’t it be better to teach people to learn how to search properly? I’d rather be able to ask the right questions to quickly find the right result, than have to wade through maps and irrelevant info to find my answer.

  3. Transcontinental said on May 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    This Knowledge Graph feature seems most valuable, but if it has to be tied in an inseparable way with advertisement then I’ll have to be off this feature.
    Google is so smart that you never know what leads to the other : skill or profit !
    There are so many “libraries” on the Web, my first concern with Google — when I still call them — is mapping and search, and videos via Youtube. Otherwise they establish in my mad mind a comparison with a gorgeous woman in whome I’d have little trust : sorry ladies :)

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