Google today launched the Knowledge Graph, a new search engine feature that helps users quickly find relevant information using semantic search technology. Now, when a user conducts a search, Google will return results with two right-hand-side panels that will include additional relevant information on the search subject, such as biographical data, as well as a list of related topics. The Knowledge Graph attempts to make the search process more user-friendly by providing information about a search result’s relationship to other, previously scattered pieces of data.
The Knowledge Graph is powered by both private and public databases, including Wikipedia, Freebase, and the CIA’s World Factbook, that feed into the graph’s current storehouse of information on more than 500 million people, places, and things. It’s the company’s most significant search engine enhancement since 2007, when its Universal Search feature sprinkled video, image, and shopping results into its main list of search results.
The Knowledge Graph will roll out nationwide over the next few days. The announcement comes one day after Microsoft made its newly launched slew of social features for competitor Bing available to all U.S. users.