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Graphiq and the Future of Searching the Web

Graphiq is a tech company located in Santa Barbara with the goal of delivering online content to their users with clarity, depth, and ease. The internet is largely unorganized and dispersed and it can be a daunting task to find specific information in this heap of data. To aid in this process, Graphiq claims to have developed a “knowledge graph”, which is “the world’s deepest and most interconnected collection of data points and contextual information on the internet. It’s made up of 120 billion data points, describing 1 billion entities across 1,000+ collections”.  In essence, this knowledge graph is a proprietary model of the directed graph model for the internet that we discussed in lecture. Graphiq uses this model to create a variety of products for its users, including data visualizations and vertical search engines.

Graphiq’s data visualizations are interactive visual representations, such as graphs and charts, of specific queries. For example, a search for “Obama” returns 34 results including a profile page, a graph representing his approval rating over time, and a chart of inflation rates during the Obama administration. The purpose of data visualizations is that they are able to automatically compile and present information from a variety of web pages in a succinct way, as opposed to having to manually search many cites and put the information together oneself.  In this way, Graphiq sees data visualizations as a valuable product for journalists and news sources, and has already established relations with outlets such as The Huffington Post and Sports Illustrated.

A second major product of Graphiq is its vertical search engines, which provide information on a variety of topics from real estate to celebrities to the healthcare industry. Vertical search engines are a different way to search the internet compared to the more conventional ways such as with Google’s search engine, which uses the PageRank algorithm. While Google’s search engine determines which results are the most important by figuring out the number of pages and the quality of said pages that link to a specific page throughout the entire web, a vertical search engine operates only in a specific subsection of the internet. The benefit of a vertical search is that it eliminates ambiguity. For example, a google search for the word “jaguar” might return results about the animal as well as the brand of automobile, while on the other hand, a specified vertical search for “jaguar” under automobiles would only return information about the car brand. Furthermore, a vertical search reveals more readily specific information about the desired content. For example, a search for “Boston” on Graphiq’s vertical search engine, FindTheHome, gives detailed information about its real estate, demographics, economy, and many other topics. Although some vertical search engines such as Kayak, which provides information on traveling, already exist, Graphiq is hoping to be the first to implement this new technology over a broad range of applications.

As we have discussed in lecture, the major problem facing the internet today is not a problem of scarcity, but rather one of abundance. As the internet becomes increasingly accessible, more and more people will be able to share content. Consequently, we will have to find more efficient ways to filter this information so that we are able to access the pieces which are most relevant and desired. Through its use of its knowledge graph, data visualizations, and search engines, Graphiq is attempting to provide solutions to this complex problem.




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October 2015