Launched in May 2012, Google’s Knowledge Graph enhanced the standard search experience and made finding relevant information easy. It displays an index card-like result for what was queried in the top right column. Previously it had provided useful facts about people, places and things. This is a move to return information that is more than a regurgitation of what was typed into the search box – it’s a smart search returning concepts. Now it’s even savvier for the user who is searching for a car.
Google’s latest announcement
This week Google announced its Knowledge Graph can now make the research-intensive act of car shopping even easier for users in the United States! Initially rolled out for searches of nouns such as Albert Einstein, Taj Mahal, and Wrigley Field, this enhancement now allows information gathering of vehicles to be easier and faster.
Why does this matter?
Google’s creation of Knowledge Graph was their evolution to make search returns more of what people are really looking for, and less of what they’re not. Having compiled over 3.5 billion facts, which include 500 million people, places and things, it works at finding relationships between them to make search relevant and useful.
Relevant search results are important to Google because its main source of revenue is Google AdWords pay-per-click advertising. Users are more likely to click on ads, and in doing so make money for the search engine, if they can more intuitively generate content to deliver exactly what people want information on.
The addition of autos to the Knowledge Graph now gives users Google-provided information on that topic without them having to go to car dealer websites to find and assemble information themselves. It simplifies the process while making Google even more valuable to users.
How to search for a car using Knowledge Graph
If you’re interested in researching, for example, a 2014 Volkswagen Touareg X, type the year, make and model into the search box and Knowledge Graph instantly returns information for easy review. The vehicle type, miles per gallon, manufacturer’s suggested retail price, engine sizes, make, horsepower, other model years available, and configurations with prices are all displayed.
It anticipates what information you’re really searching for by providing all these other details in addition to the words ‘2014 Volkswagen Touareg’ that were entered.
You can see what else people who looked up a 2014 Volkswagen Touareg searched for by clicking on the links to other related searches. When you click on those, their individual Knowledge Graph cards are displayed and you are taken to a product carousel. It allows for easy jumping around to different, similar vehicles for comparative shopping.
Letting your friends help you decide what car to buy
Facebook’s Open Graph application has been in use since 2010. It’s a great way for brands to get into the friends and family minds of users engaged with their products. Spotify uses this app; notice it the next time you can see what music people you’re connected to are listening to.
With automotive-shopping, car brands using Open Graph get publicized on Facebook, and people can see what people they know and, potentially trust, are interested in. Thinking about buying a Lexus and your best friend is interacting with a Lexus promotion on Facebook? This opens an opportunity for you two to connect on this topic, to discover why you’re both interested in the same car and possibly be what pushes you into purchasing the car.
Open Graph makes it easy and fun to see what your car-shopping friends are interested in. The inclusion of cars in Google’s Knowledge Graph feature keeps them at the forefront of innovation in search engines. It also increases the likelihood of not needing to leave their site to find all the information you need in one convenient place. Anticipating what you’re looking for makes search enjoyable. You’re given full specs on the product you entered, and a variety of other relevant options, some of which you may not have considered, that are only one click away.