So chances are, unless you’ve been too busy watching Corrie or stalking your ex on Facebook you’ll have heard the news about Google’s latest search technology update – Google Knowledge Graph.
It is heralded, albeit by Google, as the next frontier in search. Being able to understand real-world things and the relationships among them, making search results more relevant and connected.
Have a gander at this video for a quick-fire introduction.
All sounds good in principal right? But how is it likely to affect us as general web users, clients and SEO specialists?
It feels a bit like being at a party and chatting to a friend. You’re jabbering away but you’re distracted by the presence of someone (a stranger) standing right next to you. You can’t fail to notice them, so you turn to your friend and ask the question ‘Who’s your mate, he’s freaking me out and he smellls a bit funny?!’
Like the legendary Ron Burgurdy, Google Knowledge Graph is clearly ‘a big deal’ and people will undoubtedly get to know it up close and personal very soon, but right now it isn’t known exactly what the implications of this new ‘frontier’ will be, especially not for mere mortals like us.
Google is (in it’s own words) ‘moving from an information engine to a knowledge engine’, shifting from simple keyword recognition (traditional SEO) to the identification of entities, nodes and relationships – essentially switching from ‘strings to things’ in an effort to collect and relay information about objects in the real world.
Google, and the Knowledge Graph, will better understand your query, so they can summarize relevant content around the topic you’re searching, including key facts you’re likely to need for that particular thing. For example, if you’re looking for Marie Curie, you’ll see when she was born and died, but you’ll also get details on her education and scientific discoveries.
In a nutshell, perhaps our lives as ‘hunter gatherers’ are about to be made a whole lot easier. All the information we need and any relevant content connected to that information will be delivered to us on a silver platter.
But what will be the impact for businesses and SEO clients alike? Will this shift towards a central ‘all-knowing brain’ reduce the need for people to follow through to a website to find what they need, subsequently reducing visits to a website? Or will it have the polar effect, better qualifying site traffic and increasing site conversion?
What do you think? What are the challenges and opportunities ahead in the SEO industry following this latest move towards, in the word’s of Amit Singhal (Google’s Vice President of Engineering), ‘the Startrek Computer I’ve always wanted to build’?