How Google's Knowledge Graph works

Google’s search results sometimes show information that comes from our Knowledge Graph, our database of billions of facts about people, places and things. The Knowledge Graph allows us to answer factual questions such as 'How tall is the Eiffel Tower?' or 'Where were the 2016 Summer Olympics held?' Our goal with the Knowledge Graph is for our systems to discover and surface publicly known, factual information when it’s determined to be useful.

Where do Knowledge Graph facts come from?

Facts in the Knowledge Graph come from a variety of sources that compile factual information. In addition to public sources, we license data to provide information such as sports scores, stock prices and weather forecasts. We also receive factual information directly from content owners in various ways, including from those who suggest changes to knowledge panels that they’ve claimed.

Knowledge Graph policies

Factual information from the Knowledge Graph often receives unique formatting and positioning within Google Search or might be spoken aloud by the Google Assistant. Because of this prominent treatment, information in Knowledge Graph displays should not violate these specific policies:

Incorrect information

Information that is demonstrably false or outdated, as evidenced by, but not limited to legal documents, expert consensus or other reputable primary sources. We may decline to act on facts that are reasonably disputed or lack demonstrative evidence.

Non-representative information

Names, titles, descriptions and images of subjects, when supported by strong evidence that our automated systems have not made the most representative selection.

Dangerous content

We don’t allow content that could directly facilitate serious and immediate harm to people or animals.

Hateful content

We don't allow content that promotes or condones violence, or has the primary purpose of inciting hatred against an individual or group, including but not limited to, on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalisation.

Harassing content

We don’t allow harassment, bullying or threatening content, including but not limited to, that which might single someone out for malicious abuse, threaten someone with serious harm, sexualise someone in an unwanted way, expose private information of someone else that could be used to carry out threats, disparage or belittle victims of violence or tragedy, deny an atrocity or harass in other ways.

Medical topics

When we highlight information on medical topics across Search, we strive to show information that reflects scientific consensus and evidence-based best practices, since we consider this content high quality. To this end, if this highlighted information runs contrary to general scientific consensus, we reserve the right to correct or remove the information from the feature. Please note that medical information surfaced should not be used to provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or provide medical or counselling care.

Sexually explicit content

We don’t allow content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts or sexually explicit material. Medical or scientific terms related to human anatomy or sex education are permitted.

Terrorist content

We don’t allow content that promotes terrorist or extremist acts, including recruitment, inciting violence or celebrating terrorist attacks.

Violence & gore

We don’t allow violent or gory content that's primarily intended to be shocking, sensational or gratuitous.

Vulgar language & profanity

We don’t allow obscenities or profanities.

How does Google correct or remove Knowledge Graph information?

Google processes billions of searches per day. Automation is the only way to handle this many searches. This means that the best way to improve our results is to improve our automated systems: our search algorithms.

Our systems automatically strive not to show information that would violate our policies. However, the scale of search is so large that no system can be perfect. This is why we provide public reporting systems.

We carefully analyse the data captured through our public reporting systems and work to remove content that violates our policies. This data is also used to inform improvements to our algorithms. We also manually remove policy-violating information that comes to our attention, especially prioritising issues relating to public interest topics such as civic, medical, scientific and historical issues, or where there’s a risk of serious and immediate harm.

How to request a knowledge panel change or report a Knowledge Graph issue

Knowledge Graph information about people, places or things is often presented within knowledge panels.

If you’re the subject or an official representative of an entity depicted in a knowledge panel, you can claim this panel and suggest changes. More information about these processes are available in the following articles:

Businesses have special Business Profile panels and should use Google My Business to create, claim and make suggestions to those.

Beyond official entities, anyone can send feedback about issues with knowledge panels, Business Profiles or Knowledge Graph information in general. Such displays have feedback options.

  • On desktop, select Feedback at the bottom of displays to send feedback.
  • On mobile, select Feedback at the bottom of displays or use or a three-vertical-dots menu option at the top to send feedback.
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