Google’s Semantic Search Refocuses on Information Discovery


Golda Criddle

May 18, 2012


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Search Engine Marketing

You’ve probably had the experience of searching for something on Google and having to sift through dozens of irrelevant results. This is because an ambiguous keyword such as “Cardinals,” can refer to a species of birds or a sports team. Now, Google is rolling out the search engine of the future:  the semantic web, or as they call it, “Knowledge Graph.” This tool will eliminate the situation mentioned above by working with you to find the information you need with fewer clicks.

This means that when you query a term with multiple associations like “Alcatraz,” a window will appear on the right side of your results showing you options. This could be Alcatraz the island off the coast of San Francisco, or the now recently canceled TV show. Clicking either option will show you results only for that entity.‍

The Knowledge Graph will include summaries for some search terms on top of the page. For example, when you search for “Vincent Van Gough,” a brief bio will appear on the results page, with photos, notable paintings, and related search terms; other artists such as Picasso or Leonardo da Vinci.  These “related searches” are generated from what other people clicked when searching for your query. In this respect, the graph is more closely related to a web that will help you research topics in-depth. Information will come from a variety of knowledge databases.

Google had previously focused on social search. This was due to the popularity of social networks like Facebook. Now its competitor Bing followed suit with its newest redesign, currently available upon request.  With these new implementations, Google seems to be moving back to a search engine based on finding and discovering information rather than sharing it. The Knowledge Graph has the potential to process and answer specific questions directly, much like a human would, or iPhone’s Siri.

I am particularly interested to see how the Knowledge Graph will affect and interact with SEO. What do you think? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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