Google is making a big splash in the news today with its new Knowledge Graph search technology, which claims to catalogue more than 500 million objects in the world and 3.5 billion facts about them to make search results more useful. It sounds impressive, but there’s no word yet on when Australian Google users will get access to it.
Google says that its Knowledge Graph collation of information about topics people are searching for, as distinct from simply matching text on web pages, allows it to answer questions more readily and identify related concepts. This manifests itself in a bunch of extra search information on the right-hand side of the page, including summaries of a given topic (most of which seem drawn from Wikipedia), links to related topics (such as other family members in the case of individuals), and links to other topics if the term you are searching for is ambiguous.
This kind of semantic linkage can potentially make searching much more useful, but it is also massively dependent on cultural context. And that, I suspect, is the reason why Google has only made the service available to US English users right now. Like all Google rollouts, it’s going to be gradual even for those users, and there’s no current word on when the feature will hit other markets, including Australia. Unless it proves massively unpopular, I imagine we’ll see it eventually, but for now it’s on the “we have to wait” list.
Introducing the Knowledge Graph: things, not strings [Official Google Blog]