Google’s improved search arrives in the UK

The Knowledge Graph is finally unleashed on the English speaking world at large
Darren Allan

August 9, 2012
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Back in May, Google pushed out the new Knowledge Graph feature for its search engine in the US.

And things have gone so well, the firm has now decided to roll it out globally to the UK, and other English speaking countries across the world.

If you’ve not heard of the Knowledge Graph, it’s essentially an effort by Google to make search results more natural, rather than automated spewed back pages of blue links.

In other words, it’s about introducing an intelligence, or knowledge, of particular searches in the graph database – of which there are 500 million real-world people, places and things with 3.5 billion attributes and connections drawn between them.

So, for example, should you search for Rio, Google’s engine will now push links to the animated film and city in Brazil to the top, as these are the most likely results you’ll want to see.

Localisation is also taken into account, so if you search for “rhinos” here in the UK, the top result will be the Leeds rugby club, not our “horny” animal friends (although the last one we saw on safari didn’t act all that friendly towards our jeep).

The Knowledge Graph system is also designed to pull lists of things out of its knowledgeable hat – so if you search for “famous male trumpet players,” you’ll get a list of the relevant top-rated brass blowers.

All this is moving towards the search system of the future, where theoretically you’ll be able to ask any question, and receive a “human-like” answer… not just pages of search results you have to sift through.

Google is introducing another element to its search system as well, namely, integration with Gmail.

In other words, if you type in a search, the results will contain emails from your inbox, if any are relevant to that query, of course. An interesting feature, or another slightly scary blurring of the lines of privacy, depending on your view point. Not that Google doesn’t already rifle through your Gmail inbox to serve targeted adverts, anyway.

Currently, the Gmail integration is being trialled, and you can sign up for the field test here, should you wish.


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