In February 2012 I wrote a blog post covering Google’s shift from word-based index to the knowledge graph. I based my presentation at PubCon Paradise social media and search conference in Waikiki to an audience of SEO and social media professionals on how the Knowledge Graph would change how search connected the dots between things, people and places.
On May 16, 2012 Google officially launched the Knowledge Graph
Delivering the Right “Thing”: Google will leverage its broad database of knowledge to further define search. So, when you search for”prince”, Google will go a step further to identify whether you are looking for Prince the artist, Prince William and Kate, or Prince tennis equipment.
Provide the Best Summary: Google will connect the dots between the topic and relevant data, attempting to anticipate what users will find of interest or value. The use of artificial intelligence will enable them to anticipate the context of search requests based on the history, profile and preferences of the individual conducting the search.
Deliver Deeper, Broader Results: Google will go beyond the “word” (or keyword) to introduce relationships with other content, people, data, places saying, “…we can now sometimes help answer your next question before you’ve asked it.” Google will use what it knows about users to anticipate their question in to provide the best answer in search.
Google explains how it has launched the Knowledge Graph to connect the dots between the words that represent the 500 million “things” and more than 3.5 billion facts they have collected in a more relevant manner for those conducting search.
“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. This is a critical first step towards 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 Video on the Knowledge Graph
A piece by Wall Street Journal on May 16th on this topic put this discussion in the mainstream. SEO, financial and business communities became engaged as Danny Sullivan who was quoted as saying “...Knowledge Graph creates a more addictive experience for Google search users, who can now easily follow a series of links to related information on a topic. That in turn could boost the amount of searches users are conducting on the site.
It appears the launch of Google Knowledge Graph has done just that as Wall Street Journal states that Google has reported in increase in searches since the launch of Knowledge Graph on May 16, 2012.
Because the name of the game is to deliver what search engines seek in order to achieve optimum visibility, SEO must incorporate the Knowledge Graph into their thinking.
Inevitably the optimization of digital assets for search must move beyond words (or keywords) to connecting the dots between the relationship between things, people and places. I believe this will come much more naturally for those who have historically taken a strategic, marketing approach to SEO and have leveraged a Long Tail SEO method. However there is plenty of room for “keyword” focused SEO’s to adapt their methods to enable Google to connect the dots for their customers.