Internet search giant Google announced a major overhaul for its search engine on their official blog yesterday evening, bringing Knowledge Graph as well as more "human-like" search functions to provide answers to user queries directly on its search result pages.
The changes will be rolled out to US-English users on desktops, tablets and smartphones first, spread out over the coming weeks, with the rest of the world to follow shortly. It will offer users' wikipedia-like expandable boxes on result pages, covering a range of subjects relating to specific search terms from public sources, including the likes of Freebase, the CIA World Factbook and leading online reference encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
"The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about—landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query. This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do," said Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Engineering at Google.
Singhal pointed out that Knowledge Graph can be programmed to provide deeper and broader results, using around 3.5 billion separate attributes to organize the results in way that makes it possible to answer the next question users might have, before even asking it. He says this is possible because "the facts [shown] are informed by what other people have searched for".
For more obvious searches, such as prominent people for example, Google's search engine will automatically expand a summary box with key information on that topic. Moving forward, the internet search firm wants to expand the new functions to include the ability to answer more complex questions, such as "what are the 10 deepest lakes in Africa?"