Google’s Knowledge Vault

Google’s Knowledge Graph excels at displaying structured information on entities. Google is developing the next generation of this called Knowledge Vault.

Google “Knowledge Vault” To Power Future Of Search by Greg Sterling, Search Engine Land (Aug 25)

Sensationally characterized as “the largest store of knowledge in human history,” Knowledge Vault is being assembled from content across the internet without human editorial involvement. “Knowledge Vault autonomously gathers and merges information from across the web into a single base of facts about the world, and the people and objects in it,” says New Scientist.

Google Search Improvement

Google makes many changes every year to search – some we are barely aware of, some we don’t like at all, some that are loved instantly. This past year, according to Google’s  head of search Amit Singhal, Google made 890 “improvements”.

Google Made 890 Improvements To Search Over The Past Year, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Aug 19)

He doesn’t say what they were but does list highlights in last 10 years (which is a very long time). Of his ten, I think the most valuable were:

  • Autocomplete – stroke of genius – see the variation and choose one that best suits our intent.
  • Voice search – I love this on my iPad.
  • Knowledge Graph – information nuggets frequently have the answer, or at least a good overview.

Google features

Google features come and go – almost always without explanation.

Jon Wiley, a search designer at Google, spoke briefly about this – mostly it is to avoid bloatware. Removing features, he said, “is one of the toughest but most important parts of designing products – deciding what to trim as you move forward”

Google Search Designer Explains Why Some Features & Tools Get Axed, Search Engine Land (Jul 28)

And – Google may have added a new timeline to the Knowledge Graph.

Google Testing Timeline View In Knowledge Graph, Search Engine Land (Jul 28)

“Google is testing a new knowledge graph interface for showing a timeline of data, facts and knowledge in the top carousel section of the Google search results.”

Dan Russell Lecture

Google search guru Daniel Russell spoke on the The Revolution in Asking and Answering Questions in this video – showing how new search capabilities empower us to ask new questions and get “deep answers”. Video lecture has many good examples from Google search. Closes with demo of conversational style for question and answer.

The Revolution in Asking and Answering Questions, Search Research (May 13, 2014)

Google starts to remove results

The European Union court decision to require Google to remove results about people requesting “to be forgotten” has resulted in a near deluge of requests – 50,000 of them. Google has begun reviewing them and removing those that are “objectionable” according to the ruling.

Google’s ‘right to be forgotten’ takedowns a ‘challenge to press freedom’
, Juergen Baetz, AP via Globe and Mail (Jul 3)

At least three British media, including the Guardian newspaper and public broadcaster BBC, said they have been notified by Google that links to some of their articles were removed from search results in Europe.

Universal Results

We have come to expect “universal results” for a query – meaning results that pick up videos, images, news. Google introduced it, Bing does it, and DuckDuckGo has a form of it.

This study of Google’s search results showed that it returns some blend of  universal results  for 85% of queries.

“The study shows that for all searches, 85% of them contain some element of universal search blend. The most common are video results, followed by images, then news, shopping and maps. “

Study: Google Universal Results Show Up For 85% Of All Searches: Videos In 65% & Maps In 1%, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Jun 18)

What Google Knows

Find out with a few clicks from this article what Google “knows” about you. Some of the things will be wrong, some you told Google in your profile, and some bits you’d prefer to be unknown.

How Much Does Google Really Know About You?, by Matt Smith, Make Use Of (Jun 17)

There is your Google web history, the Dashboard – showing everything you use, Google Ad Settings – where there are sure to be some errors. Add to this what Google knows about you though Google+, Gmail, and Google Drive.

Taken as a whole, the information Google collects about users is shockingly complete. The company can mine your emails and Drive documents, track your browsing history, track the videos you watch on YouTube, obtain your WiFi passwords and much more.

Right to be forgotten

Last May, the European Union Court of Justice ruled that a person could require that Google remove information about that person from search results -  they have the “right to be forgotten”.

Google will indicate in search results that “right to be forgotten” has been applied. More information about this and related stories in Yes, Google Will Disclose “Right To Be Forgotten” Removals by Barry Schwartz (June 9)

This applies only in the Google search engines for Europe – not to Google.com and the United States. Right To Be Forgotten Won’t Happen On Google.com (June 10)