I am talking about the text that is shown right of search results on Google.com.

Google Search: search for "germany" shows information about Germany in the right sidebar

For institutions, universities this is often the first sentence from Wikipedia. For countries it is not.

When I search for the whole sentence

Germany is a Western European country with a terrain of vast forests, rivers and mountain ranges, and 2 millennia of history

there are only four places on the web that contain it, none of which is Wikipedia or any known institution.

Are these text snippets statistically generated summaries? If so, what information does Google provide about generating them?


From the reference

Google’s Knowledge Graph isn’t just rooted in public sources such as Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. It’s also augmented at a much larger scale—because we’re focused on comprehensive breadth and depth. It currently contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects. And it’s tuned based on what people search for, and what we find out on the web.

The specific source for a result web page could vary depending on several factors. I.E. in Google in Spanish, the source is Wikipedia.


When Google provide information about the source, it's just below the snippet, like the Wikipedia article link circled in the above image.

It's worth to say that Freebase will be shut down in June 30, 2015, but before that date the data will be moved to Wikidata.

Introducing the Knowledge Graph: things, not strings - Official Google Blog
"When we publicly launched Freebase back in 2007, ..." - Freebase Google+ page, December 16, 2014
Freebase API - Google Developers

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