8 Handy Uses for Google’s Knowledge Graph

8 Handy Uses for Google's Knowledge Graph

Do you use Google Knowledge Graph? Chances are good that you do, even if you’ve never heard it called that. The Knowledge Graph is the info box that offers quick answers to search strings, often above the first organic results. Recently we covered the addition of brands’ social media accounts to Knowledge Graph, but that’s far from all it offers. An estimated 1 in 4 of all Google searches include a Knowledge Graph with the results. So what exactly is the Graph telling people?

 

8 Handy Uses for Google's Knowledge Graph

 

A lot, it turns out—and most of it is super useful. Here are 8 types of information Google Knowledge Graph offers that can make your day a little easier.

  1. Weather. Simply type in “weather” and a location and the Knowledge Graph will become your own forecaster. The box shows current conditions as well as a seven-day outlook. At present, you do need to type the location however—a search for just “weather” won’t do it.
  2. Stock Prices. This is a handy one if you have your eye on certain specific stocks. It works two ways: you can type a specific company name or stock symbol plus “stock prices” to get current price info and a graph of the day’s behavior, or you can search for an index, such as the Dow Jones. Searching for a company name also brings up a second Knowledge Graph in the sidebar with more general information about the business.
  3. Translations. Why bother going to Google Translate at all when you have the Knowledge Graph? All you have to do is put the word translate in the search bar along with whatever text you need translated and it will appear in English at the top of the search results.
  4. Currency. This is a handy one for anyone planning a trip overseas. You can type a very specific search string  (“500 USD to GBP”) or you can get away with some surprisingly sloppy searches. For instance, simply searching for “20 pesos” gave us its equivalent in dollars, and Google correctly assumed we meant Mexican pesos as opposed to, say, Argentinian pesos.
  5. Km to Miles. Need to go from metric to imperial or vice versa? Or just wondering how many inches are in a mile? Google can convert virtually any units. Searching “200 km to miles” is an easy one, but we were also able to get Knowledge Graph to give us conversions involving cubit, drams and hogsheads.
  6. Show times. Google has been continuously improving its ability to offer showtimes and tickets. Currently, searching the name of a movie plus a city will give you times and ticket information near you, from several theaters if available. But Google has also rolled out more functionality for concerts and, more recently, venue events including comedy shows.
  7. Flights & Travel Info. Just about any travel related search will now give you a Knowledge Graph with relevant information. This varies from the slimmed-down hotel triptych, to sometimes dozens of listings for flights with different airlines. Rates are always shown where available, but don’t be surprised if your final price is different from what Google predicted.
  8. Important Dates. Have you ever wondered what day of the week Valentine’s Day will be, or needed to find the date  of a “floating” holiday like Mardi Gras? Just searching the name of a holiday is enough to prompt Knowledge Graph to remind you of its date. Unfortunately, anniversaries still aren’t included.

Of course, some Knowledge Graph results are just temporary. Right now the graph will even tell you this year’s Oscar Nominees. We suspect it will change to a list of the winners after the big day.

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