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Google's Knowledge Graph - the New Way to Discover


Google, as well as other search engines, have already greatly impacted the way that we search for information. I would argue that very few people in the United States do not use a search engine at least once a day. If you are like me, once an hour might even be an understatement. "Google" has even become a verb. If an individual does not know the answer to the question at hand, undoubtedly someone in the room will suggest that one should "Google it."

Search engines work by matching queries (the search terms that you type into the search field) to the information present on websites that are relevant to those key words. But what happens if you are searching for "Mercury?" You may be thinking the chemical element, but a search engine doesn't know if you mean the planet or the chemical element. Thus, it returns all of the results by page rank. Essentially search engines are unable to interpret relationships and meanings behind the queries themselves...or at least until now.

Google is debuting what it calls the Knowledge Graph. According to Google, Knowledge Graph is "an attempt to understand real-world things and the relationships among building a huge collection of the people, places and things in the world and how they are connected to one another."

Google's Knowledge Graph seeks to draw these relationships in the following three ways:

  1. Sort search results based on meaning – by drawing the relationships, Google sorts the results for that particular topic. For example, if you search cabinet, you can select just the segment of results regarding the President's cabinet, or the results regarding cabinets used for storage.
  2. Generate a relevant summary – Google will provide a condensed summary with relevant content around the topic of concern, including key facts and figures. For example, if you search for Albert Einstein, it could pull up a summary on his life, scientific discoveries and associated researchers.
  3. Discover unexpected connections – Google will create connections between your topic and other related elements of potential interest.

Google will be implementing this feature over the next several days. Feel free to check the Knowledge Graph in action by searching Vincent Van Gogh on Google.

Also, I would encourage you to take a look at the following video provided by Google introducing the Knowledge Graph.


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