Google’s Knowledge Graph has been updated again. It’s been years since the controversial decision was taken for Google to promote its own social media network, Google+ in the search results. The Knowledge Graph has always been seen by many as a way of keeping searchers on the Google results pages and Google properties rather than encouraging users to click through to 3rd party results.
It has been a very successful way of keeping additional advertisers off the page, keeping their adverts to a limited number at the foot of the page. Try searching for ‘U2’ and you’ll notice how Google have dominated their search space, ensuring that more people go to Google Play and Sony Music Unlimited than the 3rd party paid advertiser Amazon that sits on the footer of the page.
As you’ll see with this latest update, Google now have hyperlinks to other 3rd party suppliers of information about U2, including links to Facebook, Twitter and Myspace and of course, You Tube and Google+.
So why the change of heart Mr Google? You have been taking the flack for years about the Google Knowledge Graph and how it’s been used to ensure people don’t get to advertise in this space and now you are acknowledging as a search engine that others could also give the worlds searchers some great information about a subject matter relevant to a search query.
What I don’t get about this great update was when you search for Google, you don’t get an expanded knowledge graph with links to Googles pages on Twitter, Facebook or Wikipedia; how ironic, it’s nice to see someone has an element of control of what can be shown on Googles knowledge graph; nobody else has absolutely worked out how to do this yet.
I’ve been of the opinion that it’s their search engine, they’ve invested millions to make billions and it could be argued that they are now as interested in politics and user intelligence as they are in ‘advertising’. The knowledge graph looks as if it’s here to stay by appeasing its greatest adversaries; Twitter and Facebook. It also keeps Google+ in the loop and lets it be associated with popular social media platforms that people signed up to rather than those just got Chromed. This is a subtle but important move for Google, sometimes it’s a good thing to share a little with your competitors to keep everyone happier.