Results presented in groups
Leading search engine Google has launched the Knowledge Graph - a new search function which aims to offer a more human way of presenting results.
When a user enters a search query, the Knowledge Graph will present search result subjects in groups to provide more context, using pop-up and graphical elements to illustrate the range of a term's possible meanings.
"We've been working on an intelligent model--in geek-speak, a 'graph'--that understands real-world entities and their relationships to one another: things, not strings," said engineer Amit Singhal via Google's official blog.
"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."
New level of understanding
Singhal explained that Google's algorithms are becoming more alert to the ambiguous nature of language and its nuances - for example, understanding when someone types 'Taj Mahal' whether they want information about the monument, the musician or a local restaurant.
This new level of understanding will come from aggregated studies of Google's user activity showing which areas of a subject interest people most. It will also link topics together and highlight interesting facts within the search page, meaning that people do not necessarily have to navigate away from Google to find the information they are looking for.
The Knowledge Graph will initially be rolled out to US users before including other countries. It has been tailored for use on mobile devices and will also be available on tablets.
Tom Glass, creative director at theEword, said: "This is an interesting move by Google. We know that people become more engaged when images and box-outs are used to highlight information; and Bing has recently launched a 'snapshot' column which performs a similar function."