Google is introducing a new tool, the Knowledge Graph, which is designed to make its search engine smarter.
The new feature debuting Wednesday draws from a Google-built database of more than 500 million people, places and commonly requested things to provide a summary of vital information alongside the main search results.
The information warehouse, which Google calls a “Knowledge Graph,” is an attempt by the Internet’s dominant search engine to provide answers as quickly and concisely as possible so users don’t have to sift through a hodgepodge of Web links displayed on the main results page.
The nuggets of information will appear in boxes to the right of the main search results. Google will gradually roll out the feature to its logged-in users in the US during the next few days before extending it to a wider audience.
The Knowledge Graph will work in different ways.
If a person enters a search request, such as “kings,” that can be interpreted in several ways, Google will now display a box on the right side of the page listing several other options, such as the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, the Sacramento Kings basketball team and the Kings TV show. Clicking on any of these choices will deliver results exclusively devoted to that topic.
Queries on specific people or places will generate thumbnails that list key statistics about the topic. Google bases its assumption on what people are most likely to want to know on an analysis of past search requests.
Google is hailing the Knowledge Graph as an important step in Internet search’s evolution. The company is trying to make the difficult transition from merely presenting a list of Web links to delivering the kinds of responses that people expect when they pose a question to an expert.