Google just announced two updates coming tomorrow to the Knowledge Graph feature that it launched in May.
The Knowledge Graph is the summary that now appears to the right of the results for US searchers. This allows users to see factual summaries related to their search queries (biographies of notable figures, tour dates for musicians, the cast of movies, etc.) and disambiguate their searches (focus their search on Rio the movie, Rio the casino, or Rio de Janeiro the city). Senior Vice President of Engineering Amit Singhal says that since launching the Knowledge Graph, Google has been “able to get users to get users to the right query much faster,” adding that “whenever people are able to get to their results faster … they search more.”
So naturally, Google wants to expand the feature. Starting tomorrow, Googler Shashi Thakur says the Knowledge Graph will become available to users across the world, as long as they’re searching in English. Under the hood, Thakur says Knowledge Graph results are now being localized for different regions. For example, if you search for “chiefs” in the United States, the Knowledge Graph will give you information about the football team the Kansas City Chiefs. If you search in Australia, you’ll get information about the Chiefs rugby union team.
In addition, Thakur says the Knowledge Graph results are now being added to the auto-complete box that appears when you type Google searches. In other words, if you start to type a search for “rio”, then, going back to the earlier example, you can select Rio the film, Rio the casino, or Rio de Janiero the city, directly from the auto-complete box. If the Knowledge Graph is supposed to “get users to the right query much faster”, adding the feature to auto-complete is an important step in that direction. It allows you to focus your results, even before the first page of search results actually appears.
Google also demonstrated a carousel interface for the Knowledge Graph that will appear tomorrow. That should make it easier to scroll, slideshow-style, through a bunch of items related to a Knowledge Graph entry. For example, if you decide to focus your search on a specific amusement park, the Knowledge Graph can give you a carousel of pictures of all the different rides.
The Knowledge Graph improvements were announced at a press event in San Francisco, where Google also announced that it will be conducting a field test where it adds information from your Gmail inbox into your search results and also updating its Search app for the iPad with voice features. You can read a few more details at The Official Google Blog.