Thursday, May 17, 2012

Google Search: The Knowledge Graph

Google is really taking the guesswork out of search this time around with the introduction of The Knowledge Graph, a generated linking of topics to searchers that will help the daily peruser to better find exactly what they are looking for. Billed as "...a huge collection of the people, places and things in the world and how they're connected to one another...," the future of search is moving toward increasing anticipation of user questions in specific contexts. Take for example, a search for Vincent Van Gogh. Not only are the top relevant pages yielded, but Google's new Knowledge Graph would generate an assortment of relevant art works, similar artists and user-generated data like popular searches before and after Van Gogh. Check out the below search for crazy jazz producer and visionary Sun Ra:

Just as with Apple's Siri, it's easy to envision a growing pool of knowledge that Google will be able to harness. Google is privy to such a large amount of user data and habits that this seems to be a logical next step in leveraging user trends. Suddenly we are able to see what other people are searching and seeing the bigger picture of how we discover new objects and people. Especially for older or more arcane subject matter, the knowledge map creates a path for users to see connections between information gatherer and information. Here's the top level PR video released this morning:

So how will this help us find our cat videos and cute animal buzzfeed galleries faster? Who knows. But one's thing is for sure and that's that Google is really pushing to find ways of creating their "version" of how information is gathered online. Although the eternal optimist in me is happy to see this "Wikipedia lite" function installed in Google's unparalleled search engine, I'm somewhat wary of what this means for paid searches in the future. At the end of the day the intersection of profit versus proletariat is what intrigues this lowly searcher. In the meantime, take a peak at how the other 7 billion people in the world are getting their daily information.


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