Saturday, 26 May 2012

How Google is making Consumer Searches Easier

The Google Knowledge Graph is Just the Beginning of a Revolution
Google has been expanding its services to include mobile software and social networking facilities. The search engine has implemented flagship schemes such as Google+ in order to attract visitors. In this article we examine some of the initiatives designed to make searching for stuff easier.
The core search engine is intact for Google but they are constantly coming up with innovations that provide peripheral services. The Knowledge Graph is just one of the schemes that they have in mind. It is a search tool which was rolled out on the 18th of May 2012. Apparently consumers and non-specific searchers will find it easier to access relevant pages through this tool.
The premise of the scheme is that a search for a popular key word will trigger the creation of an information box on the side which gives the user more details about their search. At the same there will be algorithm protocols which effectively exclude those pages that are considered to be poor quality versions. Data scraping and ‘recycling’ are some of the indicators that a website does not have high quality information.
Google intends to reduce the prominence of poor quality pages
One of the advantages associated with using the Knowledge Graph is the ability to get summarized information about the page before visiting it. This will be particularly useful to those surfers that have limited bandwidth or the ones that are taking a cautious approach to visiting potentially dangerous sites. Users will also get a Google+ profile if the search term relates to a person or institution.
Shashidhar Thakur is the Tech Lead in search for Google. In an interview with ABC news, he described how data was sourced for this project: "The knowledge graph has been constructed using a lot of reliable sources of information, including the World CIA Fact Book, Wikipedia, etc. We also collect content of our own, like Google Books". [1] A team has been working on the project for 2 years. So far a database of 500 places, people and things has been created.
Access to results that are detailed and accurate
There are up to 3.5 billion defining attributes and connections which are used to enforce the accuracy of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). The Knowledge Graph box will be visible as soon as the Google Maps application is triggered. In terms of social media, the search engine continues to promote Google+. This feature has a bespoke social network as well as filtered results.
Obviously retailers are going to pay attention to all these developments because they directly affect sales. PJ Fusco is the Director of SEO services at Covario Inc. He is of the view that the planning process has ensured that commercial websites are not going to be negatively affected by the developments: “While it’s challenging to consider all the potential cross references that could be made between retailers and different data points in time, Google certainly is making discovering these potential intersections highly alluring for searchers.” [2]
How does this tie in with Google Panda?
Those websites that are unable to tighten their editorial controls are going to pay the price. Their rankings are likely to fall dramatically because they will be overtaken by more relevant pages. In fact Google has indicated that the search engine is likely to roll out more features for English language users.  The winner is going to be the ‘smaller merchant’ according April Anderson who is the Industry Director for the retail sector. [2]
Businesses are required to respond to these changes by improving the quality of content that they put on their pages. Those that were devastated by the onset of the Panda update will already have experience of recovery. These are the advanced marketing strategies that will be required for e-commerce in the future. Meanwhile the search engine continues to thrive.
  1. J. Stern,” Google Knowledge Graph: Search Just Got A Lot Smarter”, 16th May 2012, ABC News,
  2. T. Ruetter,” Google’s new search feature aims to increase relevancy”, 16th May 2012, Internet Retailer,

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