This week, Google unveiled its “Knowledge Graph,” which is garnering a great deal of hype in the search industry. Google has certainly hyped it up, calling it “another step away from raw keywords”. It puts a new kind of search results onto Google results pages in boxes on the side, which display relevant information about things like people, celebrities, bands, works of art, books, movies, etc.
It draws from various data sources, including some of Google’s own, but in all of the examples we’ve seen so far, Wikipedia is displayed as a prominent source of information. With that in mind, we wondered how susceptible to Wikipedia vandalism Google might be.
When asked about this, a Google spokesperson tells WebProNews, “I can’t share a ton of detail here, but we’ve got quality controls in place to try to mitigate this kind of issue. We’ve also included a link so users can tell us when we may have an inaccuracy in our information.”
“Our goal is to be useful; we realize we’ll never be perfect, just as a person’s or library’s knowledge is never complete,” he adds. “But we will strive to be accurate. More broadly, this is why we engineer 500+ updates to our algorithms every year — we’re constantly working to improve search, and to make things easier for our users.”
Additionally, Danny Sullivan, who interviewed Google’s Amit Singhal during a keynote at SMX London this week, talked to Singhal about this issue. Here’s what he had to say, as shared by Sullivan:
Singhal said that Google will use a combination of computer algorithms and human review to decide if a particular fact should be corrected. If Google makes a change, the source provider is told. This mean, in particular, Wikipedia will be informed of any errors. It doesn’t have to change anything, but apparently the service is looking forward to the feedback.
“They really are excited about it. They get to get feedback from a much bigger group of people,” Singhal said.
Wikipedia has 3,951,359 content pages. Wikimedia projects have so far seen over 1.5 billion edits. I would have to imagine the bulk of these have been to Wikipedia.