China / Science

Google unveils enhancement to search engine

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-05-17 06:57

SAN FRANCISCO - Google on Wednesday announced the addition of a new feature to its search engine, which the Internet search giant says can provide users with smarter answers rather than just links to their search queries.

The enhancement, powered by a technology billed as Knowledge Graph, will help users "discover new information quickly and easily," Amit Singhal, Google's senior vice president of engineering, said in a blog post.

With the Knowledge Graph, users will see a panel on the right- hand side of the Google search results page, which provides a summary of key facts about users' search with the most useful and interesting information related to the particular topic.

For example, if users are looking for Marie Curie, they will see when she was born and died, as well as details on her education and scientific discoveries.

The content is generated based on studying in aggregate what users have been asking about each item, Google said.

The improvement will also enable the Google search engine to tell users if their search for "mercury" refers to the planet or the chemical element, and help them narrow their results to find just the answers they are looking for.

According to Google, the Knowledge Graph is an "intelligent model" that understands real-world things and the relationships among them.

"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," Singhal noted in his blog post.

Google said it has begun to gradually roll out the new feature to US users of its English search engine, and will also make it available on smartphones and tablets.

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