Was browsing around the web, actually doing research for an upcoming blog post when I noticed that Google has added a new Knowledge Graph feature. I queried “download Putty” a very popular desktop application and noticed that Google returned a Knowledge Box for the download, along with an icon and link to the download itself.
Apart from the inordinate amount of whitespace, this seems like a really nice feature. Upon further browsing, I noticed that this is not a glitch or a test but rather a feature that is fully implemented. Sorry Xenu, Screaming Frog and Scrapebox, no love yet. Another search for “download Filezilla” returns a proper knowledge box.
And yes, Googlebot is smart enough to know that if you are on mobile, or a device that does not support the download (not fully tested) to serve you the correct results.
I haven’t tested a program that does not work on Mac yet, because I haven’t been able to find an example but we’ll see.
This does raise a few questions, such as does the application executable sources somehow get verified? If so, is it manual?
Another check for “the big 3” browsers confirms that Google is playing fair, and not discluding their competition (Chrome vs Firefox vs IE)
What will Google’s Knowledge Graph do next? Will they mess up by linking to a download to an invalid or possibly dangerous source? Will they link to drivers? Will they link to a download source other than the vendors causing higher impressions / ad revenue, angering the software manufacturer?
Only time will tell. With Barry Schwartz’s discovery today of the new “slow” label in mobile searches, it is clear that Google is being very liberal with their testing.
I welcome any questions or comments, please leave them here or on Twitter / Google+. Thanks!