In 2012, Google launched its Knowledge Graph, a visual summary found on the right-hand side of the screen, that provides relevant details related to your search. For example, searching “Richard Posner” generates a synopsis, including a picture, biographical information and books he has authored.
The search will dictate if a knowledge graph is available and the type of information provided. A Knowledge Graph may include 3-D images if the search is for certain molecules and mathematical equations. Or the information may be more local in focus — searching for the Milwaukee Art Museum will, in addition to a summary, provide hours of operation and reviews. Many times Google will list the source (e.g. Wikipedia) of the information, but not always.
Many researchers will look to the Knowledge Graph for quick facts or additional ideas to build on a search. This can be a useful resource. However, it should be noted that the Knowledge Graph may not always be accurate. One can find online discussions regarding erroneous information on the Knowledge Graph.
The Search Engine Roundtable posted an interesting article in August titled, “Google Thinks Neptune Is Uranus.” So, as with all searches, it may be wise to look to more than one source for information.