A week ago or so Google announced its new Knowledge Graph, which attempts (and is succeeding-so far) to make results in the SERPs more meaningful to you as a human and not to you as a search word writer. Google says Knowledge Graph, “taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.”
Which is odd to me since I didn’t think most people understood the world at all. But I digress.
Let’s say you enter a search term that has multiple meanings. How about maple leaf? You could be looking for info on leaf peeping in New England, the Canadian flag symbol or a hockey team among other things. Knowledge Graph taps into public sources of info from major databanks such as Wikipedia, the CIA World Factbook, Freebase and others and then combines that with what it claims are 500 million other objects and 3.5 billion facts, slaps on the relationships between those facts and objects and adds a dash of nutmeg to give you your results. In real time. I have a headache.
So what exactly does this mean? Who knows? This could be the day when search truly becomes intelligent search and steps toward what Google’s Amit Singhal calls “the ‘Star Trek computer’ that I’ve always dreamt of building.”
Before we all go from thinking Mr. Spock and get dark with “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that…” let’s pull back and think about how this affects your company’s standing in search results. Sure you can find McDonald’s or Nike or Apple but how about your local print shop, landscaper or medical supply company?
A search for landscaper will still take into account your location but may now make indirect assumptions about the user’s intentions by logging search behaviors, collecting info on what they click, don’t click and look for after doing a search. It’s also likely that content will become much more relevant. KG will delve deep into good, compelling content as it makes its relationships so those sites that have it will have an advantage. That’s where engaging website content and business blogging comes in. Constantly changing content with relevant keywords will catch the attention of Dave, um, Knowledge Graph.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Knowledge Graph evolves as intelligent, semantic search. Or as a Google product manager put it, “we’re in the early phases of turning it from an information engine into a knowledge engine.”
For Google’s take on Knowledge Graph hang out for 2:45 here.