Being seen as the world’s most powerful search resource by millions, Google is constantly under pressure to deliver the most comprehensive range of information for each query. As technology advances so does the ability to understand the intent of each search and provide the best information for each search.
Google has recently acknowledged that community resources might not always provide the desired answers for a search query and have recently launched a trial platform which incorporates personal e-mails (g-mail) into individual search results.
This eliminates the extra step searchers have to take to find the most useful information by also including personal data in to the search results. Including such information in Google results gives searchers a more comprehensive solution.
For example if you need to pull information up on flights to your next great vacation the new Google feature will pull all information and updated statuses on your flights from your g-mail account. Or maybe you have been planning a hiking trip along the Milford Track with a group of friends.
When you Google Milford Track not only will Google produce relevant search results but will also access any personal e-mails from your g-mail account regarding the track. As of now this new feature is still under its trial stages, but is available to sign up to test out in English for @gmail.com addresses at google.com/experimental/gmailfieldtrial.
To further this search expansion, Google has recently released the Knowledge Graph to all English speaking countries. The Knowledge Graph is Google’s attempt to work less like a computing engine and more like an understanding guru (using artificial intelligence). It is a step towards providing the public with a search engine that can register complex questions and deliver a range of information that is tailored to their specific needs.
The Knowledge Graph can be seen as an attempt to link together the ‘real world’ and the ‘digital universe’. The graph is programmed to recognize more than 500 million people, places and things, and uses approximately 3.5 billion attributes to determine the association amongst information. Google has developed this with mobile in mind as well and has made sure it’s features are touchscreen friendly.
These changes have invoked fear from some corners, as some businesses believe that such search modifications may have a negative impact on their site’s search traffic. The good news is that Google Knowledge Graph and Gmail integration should not take away from traffic driven by organic search results. The extended information provided is driven from such sources as Wikipedia and is formed to deliver useful unobtrusive factual information. Providing this type of knowledge should merely pique the interest of searchers and not deduct any traffic from sites listed in their search.14 August 2012