Google on May 16 began rolling out the latest generation of its dominant search engine, introducing what officials are calling the Knowledge Graph.
The Knowledge Graph is designed to offer users an improved search experience by not only doing a better job of finding exactly what they are searching for, but also by then presenting the users with more information related to their searches. If a user searches for Leonardo da Vinci, they not only will get information about him, but information about his paintings and other works, and information about other Renaissance figures.
"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," Amit Singhal, senior vice president of engineering at Google, said in a May 16 post on the search giant s blog. This is a critical first step toward 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.
Google's unveiling of Knowledge Graph comes at a time when there is a lot of focus on the Web 2.0 market. Microsoft on May 11 rolled out a revamp of its own Bing search engine, which included the ability to feature social results from Facebook and Twitter in searches. Microsoft also made changes to Bing designed to make it easier to use.
Google continues to be the dominant search engine, with 66.5 percent of search results in April, according to numbers compiled by comScore. Microsoft's Bing was a distant second, at 15.4 percent, with Yahoo in third at 13.5 percent.
Google's move also comes the same week that social networking giant Facebook, a growing rival of Google's for Internet ads, launches its initial public offering (IPO) of stock, an event that could shoot the company's value to close to $100 billion. The Knowledge Graph, which reportedly has been talked about in the industry for months, could be seen by some as a way for Google to remind the industry that despite the hype around the Facebook IPO, it is still a significant innovator.