Archive for the ‘Google Knowledge Graph’ Category

Demystifying The Google Knowledge Graph

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Demystifying The Google Knowledge Graph by Barbara Starr.

knowledge graph

Barbara covers:

  • Explicit vs. Implicit Entities (and how to determine which is which on your webpages)
  • How to improve your chances of being in “the Knowledge Graph” using and JSON-LD.
  • Thinking about “things, not strings.”

Is there something special about “events?” I remember the early Semantic Web motivations being setting up tennis matches between colleagues. The examples here are of sporting and music events.

If your users don’t know how to use TicketMaster, repeating delivery of that data on your site isn’t going to help them.

On the other hand, this is a good reminder to extract from all the “types” that would be useful for my blog.

PS: A “string” doesn’t become a “thing” simply because it has a longer token. Having an agreed upon “longer token” from a vocabulary such as does provide more precise identification than an unadorned “string.”

Having said that, the power of having several key/value pairs and a declaration of which ones must, may or must not match, should be readily obvious. Particularly when those keys and values may themselves be collections of key/value pairs.

Google Alters Search… [Pushy Suggestions]

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Google Alters Search to Handle More Complex Queries by Claire Cain Miller.

From the post:

Google on Thursday announced one of the biggest changes to its search engine, a rewriting of its algorithm to handle more complex queries that affects 90 percent of all searches.

The change, which represents a new approach to search for Google, required the biggest changes to the company’s search algorithm since 2000. Now, Google, the world’s most popular search engine, will focus more on trying to understand the meanings of and relationships among things, as opposed to its original strategy of matching keywords.

The company made the changes, executives said, because Google users are asking increasingly long and complex questions and are searching Google more often on mobile phones with voice search.

“They said, ‘Let’s go back and basically replace the engine of a 1950s car,’ ” said Danny Sullivan, founding editor of Search Engine Land, an industry blog. “It’s fair to say the general public seemed not to have noticed that Google ripped out its engine while driving down the road and replaced it with something else.”

One of the “other” changes is “pushy suggestions.”

In the last month I have noticed that if my search query is short that I will get Google’s suggested completion rather than my search request.

How short? Just has to be shorter than the completion suggested by Google.

A simple return means it adopts its suggestion and not your request.

You don’t believe me?

OK, type in:


Note the autocompletion to:

That’s OK if I am searching for the cable company but not if I am searching for “charter” as in a charter for technical work.

I am required to actively avoid the suggestion by Google.

I can avoid Google’s “pushy suggestions” by hitting the space bar.

But like many people, I toss off Google searches without ever looking at the search or URL box. I don’t look up until I have the results. And now sometimes the wrong results.

I would rather have a search engine execute my search by default and its suggestions only when asked.

How about you?

So Long, and Thanks for All The Triples – OKG Shuts Down

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

So Long, and Thanks for All The Triples – OKG Shuts Down by Eric Franzon.

From the post:

I take no pleasure in being right.

Earlier this week, I speculated that the Open Knowledge Graph might be scaled back or shut down. This morning, I awoke to a post by the project’s creators, Thomas Steiner and Stefan Mirea announcing the closing of the OKG.

Eric and the original announcement both quote: Jack Menzel, Product Management Director at Google, as making the following statement:

“We try to make data as accessible as possible to people around the world, which is why we put as much data as as we can in Freebase. However there are a few reasons we can’t participate in your project.

First, the reason we can’t put all the data we have into Freebase is that we’ve acquired it from other sources who have not granted us the rights to redistribute. Much of the local and books data, for example, was given to us with terms that we would not immediately syndicate or provide it to others for free.

Other pieces of data are used, but only with attribution. For example, some data, like images, we feel comfortable using only in the context of search (as it is a preview of content that people will be finding with that search) and some data like statistics from the World Bank should only be shown with proper attribution.

With regards to automatic access to extract the ranking of the content: we block this kind of access to Google because our ranking is the proprietary core of what Google provides whenever you use search—users should access Google via the interfaces we provide.”

I can summarize that for you:

The Open Knowledge Graph (OKG) project is incompatible with the ad-driven business model of Google.

If you want the long version:

  • …not granted us the rights to redistribute.” Google engineered contracts for content that mandate its delivery/presentation via Google ad-driven interfaces. The “…not granted us…” language is always a tip off.
  • …but only with attribution.” That means the Google ad-driven interface as the means for attribution. Their choice you notice.
  • …ranking of content…block….” Probably the most honest part of the quote. Our facts, our revenue stream and we say no.

Illustrates a problem with ad-driven business models:

No ads, no revenue, which means you use our interfaces.

Value-add models avoid that but only with subscription models.

(Do you see another way?)

Deconstructing the Google Knowledge Graph

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Deconstructing the Google Knowledge Graph

Mike Bergman has some interesting observations on the Google Knowledge Graph, first on its coverage and then on how it is constructing URLs for nodes in its graph.

I have to second his call for Google to release its identifiers via an API. That would be a real boon for common entities.

I say common entities because having “millions” of identifiers is fairly trivial when you consider the number of objects captured every night by optical astronomers alone. Or sequencing genomes.

Not to discount the value of a common identifier for Lady Gaga but uncommon entities need identifiers too.

Gabriel Hopmans pointed me to this post. (Morpheus)

Searching For An Honest Engineer

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Sean Golliher needs to take his lantern, to search for an honest engineer at the W3C.

Sean writes in Google Just Hi-jacked the Semantic Web Vocabulary:

Google announced they’re rolling out new enhancements to their search technology and they’re calling it the “Knowledge Graph.” For those involved in the Semantic Web Google’s “Knowledge Graph” is nothing new. After watching the video, and reading through the announcements, the Google engineers are giving the impression, to those familiar with this field, that they have created something new and innovative.

While it ‘s commendable that Google is improving search it’s interesting to note the direct translations of Google’s “new language” to the existing semantic web vocabulary. Normally engineers and researchers quote, or at least reference, the original sources of their ideas. One can’t help but notice that the semantic web isn’t mentioned in any of Google’s announcements. After watching the different reactions from the semantic web community I found that many took notice of the language Google used and how the ideas from the semantic web were repackaged as “new” and discovered by Google.

Did you know that the W3C invented the ideas for:

  • Knowledge Graph
  • Relationships Between things
  • Naming things Better (Taxonomy?)
  • Objects/Entities
  • Ambiguous Language (Semantics?)
  • Connecting Things
  • discover new, and relevant, things you like (Serendipity?)
  • meaning (Semantic?)
  • graph (RDF?)
  • things (URIs (Linked Data)?)
  • real-world entities and their relationships to one another: things (Linked Data?)


Really? Semantic, serendipity, graph, relationships between real-world entities?

All invented by the W3C and/or carefully crediting prior work.


Good luck with your search Sean.

“…Things, Not Strings”

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

The brilliance at Google spreads beyond technical chops and into their marketing department.

Effective marketing can be what you do but what you don’t do as well.

What did Google not do with the Google Knowledge Graph?

Google Knowledge Graph does not require users to:

  • learn RDF/RDFa
  • learn OWL
  • learn various syntaxes
  • build/choose ontologies
  • use SW software
  • wait for authoritative instructions from Mount W3C

What does Google Knowledge Graph do?

It gives users information about things, things that are of interest to users. Using their web browsers.

Let’s see, we can require users to do what we want, or, we can give users what they want.

Which one do you think is the most likely to succeed? (No peeking!)

Google and Going Beyond Search

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Google and Going Beyond Search

Stephen Arnold writes:

The idea for this blog began when I worked through selected Ramanathan Guha patent documents. I have analyzed these in my 2007 Google Version 2. If you are not familiar with them, you may want to take a moment, download these items, and read the “background” and “claims” sections of each. Here are several filings I found interesting:

US2007 003 8600
US2007 003 8601
US2007 003 8603
US2007 003 8614
US2007 003 8616

The utility of Dr. Guha’s invention is roughly similar to the type of question answering supported by WolframAlpha. However, there are a number of significant differences. I have explored these in the chapter in The Google Legacy “Google and the Programmable Search Engine.”

I read with interest the different explanations of Google’s most recent enhancement to its search results page. I am not too eager to highlight “Introducing the Knowledge Graph: Things, Not Strings” because it introduces terminology which is more poetic and metaphorical than descriptive. Nevertheless, you will want to take a look at how Google explains its “new” approach. Keep in mind that some of the functions appear in patent documents and technical papers which date from 2006 or earlier. The question this begs is, “Why the delay?” Is the roll out strategic in that it will have an impact on Facebook at a critical point in the company’s timeline or is it evidence that Google experiences “big company friction” when it attempts to move from demonstration to production implementation of a mash up variant.

First, we have hyperlinks for a reason, to make it easier on readers to follow references (among others).

So, the patents that Stephen cites above:

  • US2007 003 8600 Missing. Cited in numerous patents with a hyperlink but the USPTO returns no patent.
  • US2007 003 8601 Aggregating context data for programmable search engines
  • US2007 003 8603 Sharing context data across programmable search engines
  • US2007 003 8614 Generating and presenting advertisements based on context data for programmable search engines
  • US2007 003 8616 Missing. Cited in numerous patents with a hyperlink but the USPTO returns no patent.

Three out of five? I wonder what Stephen was reading for the two that are missing?

BTW, Stephen concludes:

So Google has gone beyond search. The problem is that I don’t want to go there via the Google, Bing, or any other intermediary’s intellectual training wheels. I want to read, think, decide, and formulate my view. In short, I like the dirty, painful research process.

I fully understand running materials “back to the sources” as it were. As a student, lawyer, bible scholar, standards editor, bystander to semantic drive-bys, etc.

But one goal of research is to blaze trails that others can follow, so they can dig deeper than we could.

Google has hardly eliminated the need for research, unless it is a very superficial type of research. And that hardly merits the name research.

Google Advertises Topic Maps – Breaking News – Please ReTweet

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Actually the post is titled: Introducing the Knowledge Graph: things, not strings.

It reads in part:

Search is a lot about discovery—the basic human need to learn and broaden your horizons. But searching still requires a lot of hard work by you, the user. So today I’m really excited to launch the Knowledge Graph, which will help you discover new information quickly and easily.

Take a query like [taj mahal]. For more than four decades, search has essentially been about matching keywords to queries. To a search engine the words [taj mahal] have been just that—two words.

But we all know that [taj mahal] has a much richer meaning. You might think of one of the world’s most beautiful monuments, or a Grammy Award-winning musician, or possibly even a casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Or, depending on when you last ate, the nearest Indian restaurant. It’s why we’ve been working on an intelligent model—in geek-speak, a “graph”—that understands real-world entities and their relationships to one another: things, not strings.

The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about—landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query. This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.

Google’s Knowledge Graph isn’t just rooted in public sources such as Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. It’s also augmented at a much larger scale—because we’re focused on comprehensive breadth and depth. It currently contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects. And it’s tuned based on what people search for, and what we find out on the web.

Google just set the bar for search/information appliances, including topic maps.

What is the value add of your appliance when compared to Google?

When people ask me to explain topic maps now I can say:

You know Google’s Knowledge Graph? It’s like that but customized to your interests and data.

(I would just leave it at that. Let them start imagining what they want to do beyond the reach of Google. In their “dark data.”)

Who knew? Google advertising for topic maps. Without any click-through. Amazing.