Skip to main content

Google Knowledge Graph widens search

Google's Amit Singhal, SVP, Engineering, has posted on Google’s Official Blog about a major change to Google search. Singhal said that to date most online searches have been largely devoid of context, trying to match words. However, Knowledge Graph will attempt to understand relationships between real-world entities, thereby providing more context for searches and, in theory, better results.

“The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about – landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more – and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query,” said Singhal. “This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.”

Jack Menzel, Product Management Director, provided real-world examples of the system at work: “Say you’re interested in Renaissance painters or how many women have won the Nobel Prize. By understanding the relationships between things, be it between painters and the Renaissance or women and the Nobel Prize, Google can do a better job of understanding what it is exactly you’re searching for.”

Initially, this new aspect of Google resides in a panel alongside the search results, outlining key facts, enabling you to narrow search results by context, and also to discover connections that “help you make some unexpected discoveries”. Technical Lead Shashi Thakur noted how this could work with Menzel’s Renaissance painters example: “You might search for Leonardo da Vinci, because he’s the only Renaissance painter you know about. Now, you’ll see information right in the search results that helps you explore the topic. […] You’ll see some of the most famous paintings from that era, and discover other painters of that time.”

Although this sounds a lot like Wikipedia, Google noted that data is drawn from other sources, including the CIA World Factbook, and augmented by myriad daily search results. As for how it will affect Google search in the future, Johanna Wright, Product Management Director, enthused: “We’re in the early phases of moving from being an information engine to a knowledge engine, and these enhancements are one step in that direction.”

Knowledge Graph is currently being rolled out to US English users and has also been optimised for mobile (Android and iOS), largely through the use of swipe gestures.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.