How Google Is Using Dynamic Testing To Build Out The Knowledge Graph

By Eric Enge

Continuous Testing Leads to Continuous Improvement

Google’s Knowledge Graph is dynamically changing. We suspected as much as we saw changes during the Knowledge Box Showdown I published earlier this month.

For that reason, I personally redid 250 of the 3,086 queries we used in the study, to see what would happen. The results were interesting to say the least.

The TL;DR is that Google appears to be testing various possible direct answers to search queries. If the results are not to its liking, it is trying a different answer source, until user data tells them they have one that works.

In some cases, it decides it does not have a good enough answer and stops trying to show a knowledge box (aka answer box) altogether.


In this test, I took 250 queries that we used in our tests, 125 which previously returned no answer box, and 125 that did. In addition, of the 125 that did, I picked only the ones that returned step-by-step instructions. Each of these was retested, and I checked for:

  1. Did it return step-by-step instructions?
  2. Did it return a knowledge box other than step-by-step instructions?
  3. If yes, to 1 or 2, did it use the same website as a source as the first time we tested them?

For the ones that previously returned no answer box, if Google does now, I noted if the new result was in the form of step-by-step instructions, or some other type of knowledge box.

As in the original study, all of the searches were performed using voice queries on a phone. In this case, I used the Google App running on an iPhone 4.

The Findings

For the 125 queries I tested that originally returned answer boxes, here is how it shook out:

Changes in Step by Step Results

I found that 75% of the tested items still show a step-by-step instruction result. …read more

Source:: SearchEngineLand


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