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The Google Knowledge Graph

June 11th, 2014 by Erick Beck

I stumbled across this by accident, and it turned into an amazing find. I was asked to find out why (and fix, or course) a search for “Texas A&M School of Law” prominently displayed “Texas Wesleyan University School of Law” in the right column.

Texas Wesleyan School of Law

After quite a bit of research I discovered that the entire right column is a relatively new feature that Google introduced called the Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Graph is Google’s attempt to add information about the search query directly on the returns page so that a user doesn’t even have to click through to another page. For example, many people who search for Abraham Lincoln are looking for how tall he was. Google picks up on that, and now pre-populates it into the right column.

Google draws from a limited pool of resources in building the knowledge graph — Wikipedia, Freebase, the CIA World Factbook, and the World Bank being the most prominent. Of these, Freebase is by far the most interesting for our purposes. Freebase is an open database, similar to Wikipedia, that allows the public to curate content. It seems to be the primary source that drives the Knowledge Graph content for most of the searches that I have done. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering Google has owned Freebase since before the Knowledge Graph was released. While I haven’t been able to add new content to the Knowledge Graph return, updating content that is there should at least allow us to make what is published more up to date. If you have incorrect content in your Knowledge Graph, or don’t have one at all, creating an up to date Freebase entry may be the best way to fix that.

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Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 Search
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1 Comment to The Google Knowledge Graph

  1. Perhaps I was being a bit overoptimistic. I updated some of the university’s information in Freebase a couple of weeks ago and it still hasn’t filtered through to the Knowledge Graph. I will keep watch and see how long, if ever, it takes to get results to update.

  2. Erick on June 23rd, 2014

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