Using Google’s Knowledge Graph well

Knowledge Graph: Easy Fact Finding Allows for Deeper Search, by Tasha Bergson-Michelson, MindShift (Jun 13)

This is an excellent article about Google’s new Knowledge Graph (viewable to people in Canada through google.com). The author shows ways students can use the display of facts and relationships to explore more deeply, confirm the facts, and gather more terms.

There is a very nice example of searching for tiger – Google helps disambiguate between the animal and the golfer – and chooses species as the distinguishing word for tiger.
In my courses I talk about “stock words” – either words to describe what you want, or words that would likely be associated with the topic. Tasha refers to them as a “common factor”.

“The automatic addition of the term species demonstrates exactly how a searcher can use a common factor, same notion as searching by color, to find excellent results. This is one of the most important tricks educators teach about selecting search terms: pick ones that will appear on almost every page about your topic. Traditionally, good searchers consider the fact that many pages that address the topic of tigers will mention the word species, …”