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March 28, 2012

Google Knowledge Graph: A Smarter, More Intuitive Way to Search

Google has just unleashed a search engine overhaul that promises to help users discover new information quickly and easily.

The Knowledge Graph, a database containing more than 500 million objects, as well as 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects, goes beyond mere words to figure out what people are really seeking online. Users will no longer have to wade through a hodgepodge of search results because Knowledge Graph, in its infinite wisdom, will have presented the proper results in the first place.

As Google said in its official blog post on the topic, Knowledge Graph “understands real-world entities and their relationships to one another: things, not strings.”

For instance, look at a query like [phoenix]. You could be looking for the city, the bird, the football club or even the Grammy-Award-winning band. Knowledge Graph aims to eliminate this ambiguity by allowing you to narrow your search results. Google will pick what it thinks is the best result, but will show alternative, same-named searches. Once you click on your desired search, the irrelevant results will disappear.

Another bonus of Knowledge Graph is the summarized information that appears on the right-hand side of the search results page. A search for Tom Cruise, for example, will not only return the expected search results (and alternative search results, if they exist), but also a nifty factoid box that includes key tidbits you’re likely to want to know, like Tom’s birthday, his full name, his height and even the names of his ex-wives.

Google is calling Knowledge Graph the “first step towards the next generation of search,” which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do. Knowledge Graph is so intuitive that Google claims it can even answer your next question before you’ve asked it. Fact: When you search for Tom Cruise, the information provided in the quick summary section answers 37 percent of the next queries that people ask about him.

Knowledge Graph has already rolled out to Google’s .com users, and in the future it’ll also be available on smartphones and tablets. Google plans to eventually expand Knowledge Graph to other countries, but no specific timeline has been set.

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