Google’s new search results will focus on facts, using the Knowledge Graph
Google announced an exciting new change coming to the search engine which will bring tons of factual results to the forefront of Google searches. The new search feature is called the Knowledge Graph, which will tap into database facts to present relevant snippets of information based on your searches.
Similar to what Facebook calls the Social Graph, which is a graph of friend connections, Google now will have the Knowledge Graph, which will be a graph of knowledge, or what they call object connections. Think of each keyword search as an object, for example you might search for “Matt Groening” from the Simpsons TV show. Previously, you would get link results to pages with information on Matt Groening, but now, a Knowledge Panel will appear on the right side of the screen with facts about this search result, including related results like Bart Simpson, Lisa Simpson and more information including a summary of “Matt Groening”.
Should Wikipedia have something to worry about?
With these new factual “knowledge” results, is Wikipedia even going to be necessary to go to when the results are right there on the search results page? Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land goes over in detail the new Knowledge Graph, saying that it pulls data from Wikipedia to their own Google database to populate the results. Google also pulls data into their database from Freebase, and other publicly-available sources such as the CIA World Factbook.
Wikipedia cites it’s sources in it’s pages, but according to Sullivan the Knowledge Graph will not. This could have an adverse effect on Wikipedia, where users won’t have to go from a Google search result to Wikipedia to find what they are looking for because they will have the answers right there. However, it would be good to point out that these Knowledge Panels are snippets of information from what I can tell, and for research that requires a deeper and thorough search, you would still go to Wikipedia.
Google says they are in the process from moving from search engine, to a knowledge engine. And with the Knowledge Graph, it’s the first step to a more intelligent search on the web. The Knowledge Graph is being released globally in the coming days, so if you don’t see it yet, it will happen soon.