One of the most interesting news around Google Search last year was the introduction of Knowledge Graph, in May for English queries and in December 2012 for many other languages. Now the Knowledge Graph “covers 570 million entities, 18 billion facts and connections, and about three times as many queries globally as when we first launched it”, as Aaron Brown proudly wrote. (more…)
Google added a nice little feature to the Knowledge Graph, at this moment still only available in the English versions of the search engine. As you know the search engine will show a Knowledge Graph panel at the right when this is relevant to the given search query. The small feature was added to the ‘People also search for’ section of the panel. For example when you search for the movie ‘Gone with the wind’ Google will show information about the movie at the right with under ‘People also search for’ related queries from other users.
Now you can also see how the search queries in this section are actually connected to your own query by hovering over the thumbnail or the query, you will then see the explanation. (more…)
Knowledge Graph is slowly expanding its grip on the Google Search results. Where at the launch of this new Google feature it was mainly aimed at information which was interesting for the public, Google seems to be zooming in right now, even though not all the information is as up to date as it could be.
Now Google will show “Knowledge Graph” or “Direct Answers” information on peoples names, and not just the ‘famous people’, but you and me as well. The information, what else, is a link to the Google+ Profile of a person, giving you information on that person, their latest update and off course in the meanwhile pushing Google+ again. Funny enough it is becoming more and more what I said Google+ (then working title “Google Me”) should be. (more…)
Google recently introduced the Knowledge Graph, a big database filled with information about persons, places and more. Currently the Knowledge Graph is only implemented within Google.com, if it’s relevant the search engine will show more information related to the query.
For some time now Google Image Search has got a functionality to search by uploading an image. After you upload an image Google will try to recognize the image and gives back the best guess for the image and visually similar images plus search results related to the best guess.
These two things, Knowledge Graph and Search by Image are now combined. When Google recognizes the uploaded image the Knowledge Graph will kick in if relevant next to the search results. You can see this below in the screenshot, I uploaded a picture of Chuck Norris and immediately Google show more information about the world-famous actor from the Nineties. (more…)
Last night Amit Singhal gave the same example in a blogpost which announced the launch of the “Knowledge Graph“, it is the actual roll out of the tests we saw last week. With Knowledge Graph Google wants to “help you discover new information quickly and easily.” Simply said: its about answers, not the links. At SMX Singhal also said “Google has always been about giving the best answer on search queries” and this is an extension to that given.
The data Google is showing is gathered from specific sources which means the SEOs can’t ‘touch’ it and will be part of the discussion on whether Google is ‘stealing’ traffic from sites.
What is it?
The Knowledge Graph is about connecting people, places and things and giving facts and data about the search you are doing. You are getting more information on the query than just the links to other sites. Google is actually giving you direct information in the SERPS.
The Knowledge Graph does a few things:
Find the right thing
Google figures out, based on your personalized data, what exactly you mean when you are looking for the Taj Mahal. But next to that they also show a box with results which could be about the other meanings of Taj Mahal.
Getting the best summary
Google says it can now better understand your query so it will give you facts on the search you are looking for and primarily shows you the data which fits your needs best. This is what we spotted last week as a test.
Deeper and broader
Finally Google says they give us more specific types of information, right in the search results.
How do they know?
Two questions arise: how does Google know what exactly we want and where do they get the data from?
To start with the first question: Google studies the users and looks at relationships, not just in sites but all entities together. They are taking the social graph and the link graph and are combining the data from there together. In short: they are tracking our every move to figure out what kind of results we would like to have returned. Are you looking for (Indian) food or restaurants a lot? Your “Taj Mahal” search will show you more information on the Indian restaurants close to you, while if Google has figured out you love travel or culture you will see more about the monument.
The second question is where do they get that information? Google itself says they primarily use public sources such as Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. But it could also be that the data comes from another site. Google says it “currently contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects.” And at Searchengineland Danny Sullivan noted that Amit Singhal has said: “Wherever we can get our hands on structured data, we add it”.
First step to the end of SEO?
In his post Singhal also points out 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.” Google is moving into the direction the Wall Street Journal was talking about: giving straight answers and ‘ignoring’ the regular ten blue links.
Is Google really moving away from the ten blue links and are we as website owners doomed? Is this the actual first step to the end of SEO as we know it?
According to Singhal at SMX this kind of traffic is not taking away traffic from most sites but some sites might lose some traffic. That sounds like trying to be politically correct and it reminds me of the things that were said about the ‘not provided’ in Google Anlaytics: they said it would be a small percentage, but it seems to be growing.
SEO will not ‘die’ over this, but it does mean that search is becoming much more about being visible within the results, you need to stand out, so the focus of many search marketers will not just be on ranking, but also on optimizing for the SERPS: making sure you stand out.
Google however is step by step changing search with first Search Plus Your World and now this. Whether or not they are changing it in the right direction remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: they are far from done…