Sorry Edmunds & Yahoo Autos: Google Added Cars To Knowledge Graph

Dec 5, 2013 • 8:59 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google announced yesterday on Google+ that they have added car/automobile results to the knowledge graph. So now when you search for [2013 ferrari ff] (hint, who is your favorite search blogger, would make for a nice holiday gift) you will get the knowledge graph at the top right of the page:

Google Car Knowledge Graph

Google doesn't say where the data comes from but there are plenty of free data sources out there for Google to use.

As you can see, it shows name of the car, type of car, image of the car, the make, price, miles per gallon, engine sizes, other models, other configurations with a link to other searches related to it. When you click on the other cars under this one, it brings up the carousel effect, which looks like this:

click for full size

The sad part is that it will take away search traffic from Edmunds, Yahoo Autos and other car sites.

Here is the mobile result, as you can see, you need to scroll to get to the search results:

Google Car Knowledge Graph Mobile

On Google Glass it is even harder to get to any search results, all you get is this and when you click on it, it shows a snippet of the data as you scroll:

Google Car Knowledge Graph Mobile Google Glass

Forum discussion at Google+.

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12/05/2013 03:49 pm

The knowledge graph appears to be a large scale content grab from Google. It's terrible how Google is taking the content that others create and reshaping it to keep visitors on a Google owned property. Google has already destroyed many small businesses, who lack the financial resources to resist such aggressive maneuvers. Hopefully Edmunds will take this issue to the courts, along with other large businesses that are impacted in the future, to protect a free online marketplace where all businesses who work hard can succeed and conduct business in such a way that their content is not repackaged for the benefit of one company (ie. Google).

Durant Imboden

12/06/2013 12:44 am

No publisher has a monopoly on car specifications, and in any case, facts aren't protected by copyright. They're in the public domain. Sites like Edmunds draw readers with added value (e.g., reviews), not raw car specs.


12/06/2013 03:55 pm

I'd argue that Edmunds likely initially gets readers on car specs, and then keeps them interested with added value. This is likely a huge hurt to their business. While no company has a monopoly on public facts, Google has the ability to create an instant monopoly on whatever it decides to serve in knowledge graph. They simply aren't required to compete at all. This is no different than with the other anti trust suits that have been brought against them. Of course, small companies have no chance in fighting this. Maybe Edmunds does, but even if they do, the rulings have been so small in scope that they do nothing to help anyone but the party involved.

Durant Imboden

12/06/2013 05:03 pm

But Google doesn't "have an instant monopoly on whatever it decides to serve in knowledge graph." It's merely one source of car specifications, just as it's merely one source of time and temperature, weather forecasts, airline flight-status reports, lists of countries, provinces, and capitals, and other public-domain data that's widely available from other popular sites (including Bing). Antitrust law isn't intended to protect sites like Edmunds or from competition, it's intended to protect consumers. I've got a travel site, but I have no business crying "monopoly!" if Google shows a waterbus map of Venice (one of my topics) or a Knowledge Graph box with the length, beam, and draft of a cruise ship (another of my topics). Instead, I need to add value for the reader by publishing useful articles about Venice public transportation and in-depth cruise reviews. Facts are just raw materials, like ingredients in a recipe. (If Julia Child were alive today, would she be complaining if Google published a Knowledge Graph box listing "eggs, salt, and butter" on a SERP for "omelette"?)


12/06/2013 05:36 pm

Google's monopoly is in search. When you combine this monopoly with serving content, that stifles competition as Google gives preference to their own properties through search. This preference devalues and or excludes competition. A good example of this are videos. There are a number of video websites out there, but the vast majority of what is displayed originates from Google owned YouTube. When you operate the toll booth to the freeway, and allow only those vehicles you manufactured to pass the gate, you are restricting access. Google's use of their dominance in search to expand into other markets is quite concerning for business owners who want to plot a path out for future growth. Knowledge Graph, while innocent looking, is clipping the wings of many birds out there that rely on information to appease their users and generate sales. If this trend continues, Google will continue to drive more traffic to their properties by taking it away from other businesses. If anyone believes this is good, when Google already controls 67% of the search market and 1/3 of all global online advertising, I have some swamp land to sell ya!


12/06/2013 06:56 pm

I suppose that's great that it doesn't bother you. Personally I'd be pissed if I was making money off a page with cruise ship information that I'd collected, and then Google comes along and sticks that information in a giant box at the top of the search page. To me, it's like having a book store on the end of a side street. There's only one way to get to it, and it competes with other bookstores on other side streets. Then Google comes and builds a bookstore in the middle of main street, because they own the town. Sure, visitors could walk through Google's bookstore to get to yours, but are they really going to? You might have a coffee shop, but if they've never been to your store then how would they know? Why would they bother to check? They wouldn't, which stifles competition, and competition is what drives added value for consumers. That's just the way I see it though.

Durant Imboden

12/06/2013 07:46 pm

But I wouldn't be making money with cruise-ship information that was in the public domain. I'd be making money with our in-depth reviews. (Our target readers aren't people who are looking for "length of ms behemoth of the seas," they're people who are looking for "ms behemoth of the seas cruise reviews.")

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