Google announced in May 2012 a new direction in search. They called it the Knowledge Graph.
The Knowledge Graph is nothing more than semantic search with a fancy name. When you search certain topics through Google you’ll see a call-out box (either on the right side of the SERPs or a smaller version in the middle of the search results somewhere). Information from this call-out box is taken from several key sources, which include Wikipedia, the CIA World Factbook, and Freebase, an online database of information acquired by Google in 2010.
Other sources of information for the knowledge graph include semantic markup, rich snippets, and other specialized SEO tools.
The reason the Knowledge Graph is important is because it is Google’s attempt to transition from a search engine into a “knowledge engine.” What that implies is two things:
- That Google wants to keep people on its on website more
- And that Google wants to help people find answers to their questions rather than simply matching keywords with queries
That second purpose is very important because SEO has traditionally been all about keywords and keyword management, but with the semantic web it’s much more about relevant information based on topical analysis. Google, in some cases, can determine a searcher’s intent based on previous search queries, click data, and other search behavior. It means the Web is becoming more and more sophisticated every day.
When the Knowledge Graph will become Google’s primary product is unknown. What is known, however, is that semantic search technology is on the move. It could be here before we know it.