“From Strings to Things”


On May 16, 2012, Google launched Knowledge Graph, a search tool that takes standard searches to a whole new level, many saying web 3.0 or the semantic web sphere. Knowledge Graph will intuit what you are searching for, identifying the most probable thing you seek. Knowledge Graph returns items “also searched for” that relate to the topic (much like Amazon does when customers are shopping).

Google has been working to map “things”, not just websites. So far over 500 million things have been mapped, with 3.5 billion attributes. Knowledge Graph will take into account location, time of year and other criteria to offer more advanced search results, answering harder questions such as “What is the coldest lake in the world in July?”.  Lance Ulanoff of Mashable Tech states “Google is switching from simple keyword recognition to the identification of entities, nodes and relationships. In this world, “New York” is not simply the combination of two keywords that can be recognized. It’s understood by Google as a state in the U.S. surrounded by other states, the Atlantic Ocean and with a whole bunch of other, relevant attributes.”

The new search results deliver a summary of information instead of just presenting links. It connects keywords to actual things and topics, creating a web of data instead of a web of unconnected pages and documents. Google hopes that this change will keep users on Google rather than migrating to other search engines like Bing.

Google’s introduction to the Knowledge Graph: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mmQl6VGvX-c

How can Google deal with inaccurate information posted on sites like Wikipedia (one of its sources of information)? How will Knowledge Graph affect paid page rank? Should search engines like Bing compete with this new feature directly, or focus on improving other search capabilities?


2 thoughts on ““From Strings to Things”

  1. I think it’s about time. The hundreds of thousands of links thing, in which most of them have nothing to do with what I’m really looking for, has been getting tiresome. That said, while the Knowledge Graph sounds like a great idea, I think it’d be in other search engine’s best interests to see how it fares before trying to compete directly and investing in this type of thing…

  2. It’s good if you are doing research, but after doing a few searches, it’s more about quick info, if that’s what you are looking for. There’s nothing Google can really do about Wikipedia’s information since it’s driven by users. Not sure how it will affect paid page rank, but it could be distracting since the information on the right is highly featured. I don’t use Bing, so I think Bing should continue improving search features if they want to get me to switch.

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