Panthro - 1:52 am on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)
@ jimbeetle - thanks for the article. It made it seem like the future of Knowledge Graph will be all about answering trivia questions at parties, stuff like that, but I think that's an important thought.
In regards to the future of search and Google leaving behind search to be a "knowledge engine", here's how I can see it happening:
You and your friends are hungry, so you pick up your Galaxy S3: "Google - Can you call I Love NY Pizza on Central?" Google interrupts: "I can call I Love NY Pizza, but did you know that Frankey's Pizza has a special on Large, 1 topping pizzas today? Should I show you more about that?" You guys are interested in saving a little money, and you like Frankey's anyway, so you go to the ad and call them.
Later that night, you remember your wife's birthday is coming up and you've been wanting to get her a nice, new DSLR. So you pull out your Nexus tablet. This time, instead of speaking, you type (so she doesn't hear you) - "n..." "nik..." Google Instant brings up "nikon d5100" before you can look back up at the search bar. Although, instead of the typical 10 SERP listing that we're so used to seeing from a "search engine", you get a big block of "knowledge", almost exactly like the knowledge graph blocks that are (for now) off to the right on some searches. It's a beautiful, simple presentation. There's not so much text to digest all at once. Not so many choices, so many decisions to make. There's a short, clean description with a photo of the camera, videos reviews of the product and links to where you can buy it and how much it's going for. You can even select "Read More on Google Shopping" if you need more info. Down below that, in the bottom-left area, is a link about the same color as the "Ads Related to" text that we see in the SERPS today. It reads, "Search". Or something like that. You remember that, but you don't need it. This new thing is much nicer, much faster, much easier.
When you really do need to do some research, maybe for a university essay or something, Google still gives you that option. In fact, "search" can't disappear, because that will be partly where Google will continue to get all this "knowledge" anyway. It will just play a secondary role in the future. It will be under the surface, powering the new Golden Goose. Webmasters will still be there fighting over Adsense scraps and trying to figure out how to get to the top of the results, but there will be far less competition (and far less traffic) and the rewards will not justify the efforts for most. Only those with the best, highest quality resources will remain and the wide scale reverse engineering of Google Search will finally be dead. This will be partly due to the lack of tools that the SEO world once relied on to thrive. First, checking backlinks via Yahoo's site explorer was killed, then Google "site:" operator was rendered all but useless. Keyword query information will be almost completely gone soon. A few more adjustments and site owners and marketers will eventually be forced to focus on creating the highest quality content with the best user experience - and formatting it properly for Google to hopefully serve it up as Knowledge.
Just as the majority of consumers today can have their personal computing needs met by iOS and Android operating systems, Google Knowledge will be able to give [i[the[/i[ answer to most of the world's questions. No more searching necessary. That's sooo 2000.
After over a decade of Search, I'm sure that by now Google's engineers feel that they have enough data about what we're looking for, who's looking for it, and how and when we're looking for it (and everything else) to justify this new shift.