Is Google Testing a Knowledge Vault Update?

Google is now including Knowledge Vault answers related to your query in search results.

Dan Leveille, product marketing manager at deviantART, pointed out the change last night on Twitter. Leveille was researching Iceland for his website and Googled, “Does Iceland have a military?” The first two search results are Wikipedia pages for “Military of Iceland” and “List of countries without armed forces.” Underneath is a box of drop-down questions about other countries that don’t have armies.

iceland-knowledge-vault

Google hasn’t made any announcements about this update, leading Leveille to believe it’s something the search giant is currently testing.

“It kind of feels like Quora or any other Q+A site, where you ask a question and might not always find the answer you’re looking for, but sometimes they suggest a related question that can help you out,” he says.

Google rolled out the Knowledge Vault last August as a successor to Knowledge Graph. The feature aggregates information from across the Internet into a single fact base. As of January, the Knowledge Vault consisted of more than 1.6 billion facts.

Currently, some queries (“pet crab”) brings up related questions while others (“What language do they speak in Belgium?”) do not. A Reddit user pointed out that “global population decline” also brought up additional questions, though that is no longer the case.

knowledge-vault-population

“The issue is that the Knowledge Vault answers aren’t always correct, so they’ll have to be careful not to overdo it,” Leveille says, citing a recent example from a Google search related to alfredo sauce.

“As they continue to build it and it gets more accurate, I’m sure they’ll surface more answers,” he adds.

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