Google has announced the next frontier in search, an engine that is capable of understanding that what a user is searching for, are not just words, they’re real-world things. ‘Strings to things’, is how Google Fellow, Ben Gomes puts it.
With the introduction of the Knowledge Graph, Google will be able to distinguish that when a user searches for ‘Taj Mahal’, he may be searching for information related to the monument in Agra, or the Bollywood film by the same name, or the American blues musician, or even one of several restaurants that are called Taj Mahal, and filter results accordingly. When a user types in a query, Google first shows a box on the right, where the user will be able to select what he is searching for, and see results accordingly.
Additionally, for every search term, there will first be an aggregated collection of basic information, that encompasses a summary of information relevant to the most common queries. For instance, searching for a famous person like Jawaharlal Nehru, will first show a summary of biological data like Wikipedia has, such as dates of birth and death, family details, where he was born, photographs, etc.; additionally it will also include a panel of things related to him, such as Indira Gandhi, the Indian National Congress, A Tryst With Destiny, Bharat Ratna, and more. The image below shows the search result for American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.
This panel will be tailored to deliver information that best relates to the initial search result, similar to Amazon‘s ‘people who bought this also bought’ feature. This enables users to dig more deeply into subjects that they are interested in.
The information will be pulled from Google’s various associated databases such as Wikipedia, Freebase, Google Maps and more. Currently, the Knowledge Graph has over 500 million people, places and things, which in turn have at least 3.5 billion attributes.
Watch this video where Jack Menzel, the Product Management Director and others from Google talk about the feature:
This feature has already been introduced for some users in the U.S. and will be rolled out to everyone soon, on web as well as mobile and tablet devices and will be seeing a global launch shortly.
We had reported earlier about Bing partnering with Facebook and Twitter to make search more social. With this update, Google has tried to make search smarter.