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Google's Knowledge Graph: A Simple Guide to Smart Searches and Quality Results

1 November 2018
Lior Cohen
A person standing on a staircase with graph and blue sky

Today's technological landscape empowers capabilities and opportunities through interconnected networks. Facebook has successfully connected people globally, while Google's search engine has facilitated access to information.

A noteworthy advancement within Google's search engine is the establishment of connections between various pieces of information.

What is the Google Knowledge Graph?

Google has constructed a network, or as they term it, a graph of ontological contexts and interactions among different types of information. Unlike the traditional keyword-based search, the Knowledge Graph enables users to pose more specific questions and obtain centralized, reliable details on entities – encompassing people, objects, global sites, bands, brands, and more.

Each entity possesses unique characteristics and may be a component of another entity and encompass other entities (e.g., the entity "Trees" is a part of the entity family "Plants" and includes the entity "Eucalyptus").

The graph presents consolidated information for the sought-after entity and its interconnected entities.

How does it manifest? Google's reservoir of sources and knowledge continues to expand. Presently, Google showcases information from the Knowledge Graph in various scenarios within a dedicated information panel. The information panel is presented when the system is "almost certain" about what the user intended in their search.

This information can be displayed either above the search results or alongside them. For unequivocal results, such as "Time now in New York," the information appears above the search results.

print screen of google search

In instances where the search pertains to entities, such as a "person," the information typically appears beside the search results.

print screen of google search

The graph provides fundamental details about the singer Adam Lambert, featuring an image of him, a list of his released songs, and clickable links to artists from the same genre.

Beneath the graph panel, alternative results for the queried entity emerge. The type of information presented depends on the entity and the available networked information.

The possibilities are abundant and continually evolving.

How does it operate in practice? Google leverages data from websites it deems trustworthy based on criteria such as the site's age, the volume of pertinent and informative pages, and the quality, quantity, and diversity of links on the site.

Prominent sites in this regard include platforms like Wikipedia and Wikidata.

Moreover, structuring information is paramount for a machine, like a search engine, to utilize it effectively. Google facilitates this by allowing stakeholders to take actions that contribute to information structuring.

For instance, business owners can input their details into Google My Business, enabling the Knowledge Graph to showcase basic information about the company, including addresses and maps. Another significant option is using Schema markup within the site's HTML code. Through this markup, which is transparent to the user, the search engine gains insights into the context and relevant categories of the marked information. This, coupled with the assistance of its contextual database, enables the search engine to comprehend the site better and utilize the information within it when necessary.

Let the content guide Google, as previously revealed, and the key to locating information lies within the content itself. Pages showcasing reliable and high-quality information will ascend to the top of the results rankings. Adhering to internet standards and employing "readable" templates for search engines establishes the foundation for the quality of search results received.

Artificial interventions to boost pages at any expense may compromise the quality of knowledge obtained in search results on the network or within the knowledge platform managed or consumed in the organization. Despite the sophistication of the search engine, its capabilities will appear somewhat "sterile" without proper content handling, making it unable to establish robust connections and contexts with additional information.

As search technologies progress and become increasingly beneficial on the open web. Within organizations, they will rely on you—the content experts—to ensure high-quality, structured, and logical information. Utilizing templates, correctly handling headings, incorporating links, and clearly separating relevant and archival information are crucial practices. The search engine will acknowledge and reward these efforts, facilitating enhanced capabilities for displaying a quality results page. These capabilities include directly presenting desired information, comparing various sources of information, accessing additional related information, providing assistance, and more.

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