Many thanks to Emily Scott who alerted me on Twitter to a priceless example of Google Knowledge Graph getting it totally wrong.
For those of you who don’t know what the Knowledge Graph is, it is the box that sometimes appears on the right hand side of your results, which pulls together information on your topic from a variety of sources. To quote Search Engine Land it is “a system that Google launched in May 2012 that understands facts about people, places and things and how these entities are all connected“. The problem is that Google quite often gets it wrong, although usually it is just one fact that is incorrect. One of the more well know examples is when Google decided that the American author Robert Greene was born in 1959 but died in 1592. It had confused him with the the 16th century English writer of the same name. As I always say in my Google workshops, never trust the information that appears in the Knowledge Graph. The data comes from different sources that may be referring to entities that are not related at all.
The example that Emily encountered, though, is in a league of its own. She was searching for frugivores (fruit eaters) and this is what Google’s Knowledge Graph suggested:
As far as I am aware fruit is not the preferred food of wolves, cats or lions. Clicking on the “View 45+more” option for representative species we see that Google is under the impression that cheetahs, killer whales, polar bears and leopards are also frugivores.
I’ll allow raccoons although I wouldn’t say that fruit is their preferred food. But, hey, what do I know about raccoons other than that my US friends tell me the little s***s raid trash cans and will eat anything they can get their paws on.
No doubt someone has already reported the error via the feedback link and someone at Google is busy correcting it. Enjoy and take screenshots while it is still there.