Google Update Begins Transition From Search Engine To 'Knowledge Engine'

Over the last few years, several updates to Google have improved the quality of its search results, and features like page preview have helped cut down on unnecessary clicking. But today the Internet biggie announced the roll-out of what it calls the Knowledge Graph, which supplements search results with information and links that you might also be interested in based on your search.

Say, for example, you want to learn about pro tennis. Searching for the name of a famous tennis player — or maybe a tournament like Wimbledon — would bring up the standard Google results. But it would also open a sidebar containing biographical info on that player or historical data on that tournament, along with links and photos to people, places and things closely related to that person.

In that way, it’s not much different from what many people do every day when they go to sites like Wikipedia or IMDB, except you may never end up going to those sites because the information you seek (ex. What was the name of that movie with Bruce Willis and the guy from Friends?; or What is the population of Chile?) may already be there right on your Google search page.

“Google can jumpstart your research process by combining the information that others found useful with the information in the Knowledge Graph,” explains Product Manager Emily Moxley.

Product management director Johanna Wright says that this is just an early phase in the transition of Google from “being an information engine to becoming a knowledge engine.”

We hope that this update will help to prevent people from going to scammy sites that simply load their pages up with popular search terms and searched-for information. Though we wonder if sites, like the aforementioned IMDB or Wikipedia might be negatively impacted if people no longer need to go to those and similar sites for information.

The Knowledge Graph is being rolled out now to English-reading users in the U.S. and will be made available on mobile devices.