Google expands its “web of things” to seven new languages

Google is bringing more robust search results, going well beyond a list of links, to seven new languages: Spanish, French, German, Portugese, Japanese, Russian, and Italian.

Since August 2012, users of Google’s English-language search engine have had more and more of their search queries answered with images and text that take over the top and right sides of their browser windows, delivering direct answers to queries like “Don DeLillo books” and “Serge Gainsbourg albums.” Now that same capability—a web of “things and not strings,” as Google puts it—is coming to the rest of the world, Google just announced.

That Francophones who search for Serge Gainsbourg will get the same headshot and list of images that English speakers have been seeing for months, all without having to click through to a search result.

According to the Google this is known as

“knowledge graph”.

The larger significance of this announcement is that Google is moving away from “dumb” search, which only scours the web for “strings,” computer-science jargon for the strings of letters that comprise words. Instead, Google would like to create a search engine that knows that Benjamin Franklin was a person who lived in Philadelphia and has countless connections to other “things” in Google’s search database.

Newsletter sign up