Google is always there for us, especially when we're procrastinating and absolutely need to know the average lifespan of a gold fish or the complete discography of Taylor Swift. Luckily for us, Google's Knowledge Graph is there to serve all of our curious needs.

In case you haven't noticed, there are certain Google searches that pull up fact cards that give users all the information they need without needing to click further links. While many users may have noticed this feature, what exactly is it?

The feature, called Knowledge Graph has actually been around for two and a half years. However, Google continues to expand the feature to continue to increase its search revenue.

Knowledge Graph gives users a complete picture of what the user is curious about, compiling all the facts needed to make researching faster while still providing in-depth information.

Knowledge Graph is used when searching for certain artists, movies or figures. When searching about a famous person, the person's age and other relevant data about them pops up. When searching for a certain song, the YouTube video is displayed on top of the search. Google also bundles video game info such as the release date and supported platforms when the name of a game is entered into the search engine.

"The Knowledge Graph is about collecting information about objects in the real world," says technical lead of the project Shashi Thakur. "The object could be a person, could be a book, could be a movie, and many other types of things."

Knowledge Graph helps the search engine understand the context when searching for something, such as picking up on whether users are googling about Rio the city, the movie, or the casino. It also jumpstarts research based on the information other people found useful, allowing search results to bring up the most famous Renaissance painters and related works by just googling one artist.  

"We understand that there are people, and people have parents and children and spouses," says Emily Moxley, the lead product manager for the team building out the Graph. "They have a height, they have a birth date, they have a death date. That's the kind of semantics that the Knowledge Graph contains, and you can combine that with knowledge from the web and from user queries to actually answer questions."

The feature is available for desktops, tablets and smartphones. The project was gradually included to help improve Android's Voice Search. This allows users the ability to ask their phone a question and receive a factual answer from the Knowledge Graph.

But how factual are the cards? Knowledge Graph gets its information from everywhere and complies the data to turn it into the card. That means some facts may be wrong, such as how Stephen Colbert is really 5'11" not 5'10" as his card claims.

A recent study found that Google's Knowledge Graph was able to answer 88 percent of questions correctly, compared to Siri and Cortana, which received 53 and 40 percent respectively. Microsoft's Cortana is following in Google's footsteps, adding new features and data every two weeks.

Google continues to expand its fact card feature, allowing users to find out everything from when a goat will die to how to cure the common cold.

Photo Credit: Google

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