Not to be outdone by Facebook’s “social graph,” Google has launched its “Knowledge Graph” in Canada and around the world today to enhance its leading search engine.
Knowledge Graph is a database of more than 500 million real-world people, places and things, containing 3.5 billion attributes and connections between them. The new semantic search features attempt to better understand the context of a search conducted by a user and more quickly deliver the type of information they are looking for.
If you’re looking for a well-known person or place, for example, a panel will pop up to the right of your standard search results that provides additional data on what you’ve searched. It will include biographical information like date of birth and death, major accomplishments, and social connections. You’ll also see a list of related searches performed by others who searched for that person.
A sidebar also gives you the option to search for the same terms in different contexts. For example, the search “Taj Mahal” may mean the famous landmark in India, the singer, or a casino in Atlantic City.
Google will also deliver lists in a more slick presentation. Search for restaurants in Toronto, for example, and see a horizontal carousel appear on the top of the search results page, showing images and names of matching results.
Google has long been the dominant search engine in Canada. In the first quarter of 2012, it accounted for nearly 68 per cent of all searches conducted by Canadians, according to comScore Inc. Microsoft’s Bing was runner-up with 16 per cent of searches conducted.