'Troves of info', including stuff from Street View cars, in new Google Search

Google is moving ahead with an extensive update to its search engine, using "troves" of data to supplement the answers it provides to user's queries. Some of the material offered will come from the search giant's Street View cars.

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The technology known as "Knowledge Graph" is being rolled out by Google in its search service over the next few weeks.


Knowledge Graph uses a database of about 500 million people, places and things compiled by Google to figure out exactly what users are looking for - and present them with extra related information.

An example would be a search for the term "Kings." This could be a professional basketball team, hockey team or TV series," said Ben Gomes, whose title is Google Fellow.

Using the new feature, Google will be able to figure out which "Kings" users mean by giving them some options, and then presenting them with a box on the right of search results with related photos and other data.

"There's only so far that words themselves can take us," Gomes said. "What we need to do is create a map of all the things in the real world, and the relationships between them."

The new service builds on Google's purchase of Metaweb Technologies, developers of the Freebase database of information. Other sources include Google's own Books and Local services.

In addition, said Gomes, "We have cars driving all over the place learning about places and businesses." This is a reference to Google's Street View cars which roam the streets gathering map and other data.

Danny Sullivan, a search expert and editor in chief of the blog Search Engine Land, tols the Wall Street Journal the updates were necessary, "or people might start saying you guys don't care about search anymore."

The changes could boost the amount of searches users are conducting on the site, he said.

The new feature will not detract much from the search links paid for by advertisers, which appear on the right of a Google search page: "It has no significant impact on our ads," said Mr Gomes.

The move could bolster other Google initiatives, such as its Wallet mobile payment service. A search on a phone for a particular musician could return information including the date and time of their next concert.

Google has an overwhelming dominance of the search market, with a 66.5% share of the U.S. search market as of last month, according to comScore .

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