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Blog » A shift in Googles knowledge graph
Freebase has been the open core of Google’s Knowledge Graph for some years now, but that’s all coming to an end mid 2015, with a major shift into Wikidata. Nobody is quite sure of the specific information as yet since discussions are still taking place, however it’s clear that Freebase will retire the API in March 2015 with dumps currently running; you can see the dump files here. After the API retires there will be no further additions allowed, making the site read-only until closure in June 2015.
The announcement was made on Google Plus and Google Groups, see the discussion here. The Wikidata developer team are based in Wikimedia Deutschland and if you’re interested in staying up-to-date with the progress, I suggest you sign up to the Wikidata mailing list. You can also check the discussion section if you have further questions, perhaps someone has already asked it.
If you’re familiar with Freebase already, then you’re going to want to add as much information as you can since it’s not entirely clear if the changeover will make it harder to influence the Knowledge Graph, you can always see what migrates and fill in the gaps. Since Wikidata is part of Media Wiki, I’m assuming that it’s still going to be a community based platform where anyone can add information.
Having said all this, it was mentioned that the guidelines – compared to Wikipedia and Freebase – are less strict, said by a Wikidata spokesperson; you can see the Wikidata guidelines here. However Freebase has no notability, where Wikidata must contain at least one to a page on any Wikimedia Project (apparently one option). This leads back to a lot of data being sources Wikipedia right now and I’m assuming this is the main reason for the change. It’s well know – at least within the SEO community – Wikipedia is king when it comes to having information potentially show up in the knowledge graph.
The next steps from here is to look into your own data and see if you’re going to pass the new guidelines, stay in the loop with discussions and make some suggestions yourself. Although nobody as mentioned if all data will pass, regardless of guidelines, you can never be too safe.
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I haven’t heard anything on how this will be integrated in with schema.org yet, but I have my ear to the ground and make an update on my twitter profile if anything is discovered.
If you’re a developer and want to get involved, I heard this could be a good place to start. https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/board/891/
I’m a digital marketing and SEO consultant based in Sydney, Australia. I drink a lot of coffee and spend most of my time working on clients websites and improving their search visibility.