Knowledge Graph is a Google-specific terminology for the implementation of knowledge-based technology. It helps Google to enhance its search engine results, by providing information that’s gathered from multiple sources.
It’s presented in the form an infobox right next to the search engine results. These info boxes are known as knowledge panels.
Enable Google Knowledge Graph
You can enable Google Knowledge Graph by browsing the SEO menu on the website admin screen and click Social Networks.
You can select Person or Organization, type in your name or your organization name and select a picture.
Just hit “Save changes” and you’re done! It can take up to a few weeks or maybe months to see your Knowledge Graph in SERPs.
History of Knowledge Graph
Google introduced Knowledge Graph infoboxes to search engine in May of 2012. It was first launched in the United States, expanding internationally by the end of the year.
Freebase was partially powering Knowledge Graphs when it started out. Soon after launch, it significantly grew to cover 570 million entities and 18 billion facts within the first seven months. It was triple the size of data in comparison to when it started.
To get the facts in perspective, Google was serving about 100 billion monthly searches in May 2016. Roughly one-third of it had these Knowledge Graphs infoboxes.
It was rumored by a scientist in August 2014, that Google had launched a new initiative namely Knowledge Vault as a successor to Knowledge Graph. It was said that Knowledge Vault can gather and merge information to answer direct questions, such as “Where was Bill Gates born?”
Later Google clarified via Search Engine Land website that Knowledge Vault was a research paper and not active service. It was an experiment to examine the possibility to automatically gather meaning from text.
By 2014, Google collected over 1.6 billion facts out of which 271 million were considered to be 90% true.
Lack of Source Attribution
The biggest of all criticism has been that Knowledge Graph provides answers without attributing source or citation. So it doesn’t add value and credibility to whatever answers Knowledge Graph provides.
According to Google, all of the information is retrieved from multiple sources. So it’s almost impossible to mention citation for it. It includes sources such as CIA World Factbook, Wikidata, Wikipedia & many more.
And it’s questionable that there is no official documentation for the Knowledge Graph technology implementation.
In May 2016, Dario Taraborelli, head of research at Wikimedia Foundation, told The Washington Post that Google’s source omission “undermines people’s ability to verify information and, ultimately, to develop well-informed opinions.”
It was also reported that these info boxes are frequently unattributed. For example, the knowledge box on actress Betty White age is “as unsourced and absolute as if handed down by God”.
The decrease in Wikipedia Article Readership
According to British technology news and opinion website, The Register; Knowledge Graph has significantly impact Wikipedia readership. Basically, Google takes some of the information from Wikipedia and showcases it intelligently to answer the asked question.
The Daily Dot, a digital media company said that “Wikipedia still has no real competitor as far as the actual content is concerned. All that’s up for grabs are traffic stats. And as a nonprofit, traffic numbers don’t equate into revenue in the same way they do for a commercial media site”
Wikimedia spokesperson, reached out to the state saying that it “welcomes” the Knowledge Graph system and that it was actually “looking into” the traffic drops.”