Google Updates Its Search Results, Makes Them Filled With More Junk

The Knowledge Graph in action

Photo: Google Blog

Type “orange” into Google. The first eight responses include a colour, a county, a telecommunications company, an amp brand, and a children’s ministry curriculum.Google wants to clear things up.

Today it launched “Knowledge Graph,” a search database of over 500 million topics, with separate entries for “orange” the fruit and “orange” the county.

Google is trying to make search about “things, not strings.”

Now, when you enter something ambiguous into Google, they’ll give you a picture-studded lineup of the things they think you might be looking for. Click on the fruit, and you’ll get more than you’ll ever need to know about it—but only stuff about it.

Not only that. Google will also give you a dossier of that thing (see Marie Curie’s above). The Knowledge Graph now has over 3.5 billion facts, which it has gathered based on the most commonly asked queries associated with its topics.

The dossier will probably obviate the need to click a Wikipedia link, which is usually your first result if you’re searching for basic information on something. Dossiers take information from Wikipedia and other publicly available sites like the CIA World Factbook, which might lose visitors to Google.

And dossiers may help Google’s other products too. Google Fellow Ben Gomes told Dow Jones that musicians’ pages may display their upcoming concerts. That would be a boon for Wallet, Google’s payment service.

Google announced the major update less than a day after Bing rolled out its new social features.

The new Google will first become available to some American users on Wednesday afternoon for browser, tablet, and mobile. It is out in English first, with versions in other languages to be released later on.

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