Kevin Bacon is the unlikely star of Google’s latest search engine update. For anyone not familiar with the game six degrees of Kevin Bacon, it is a trivia game based on the concept that anyone who has appeared in a movie can be linked to the actor Kevin Bacon in less than six steps. This game was great for movie trivia buffs, ensuring arguments raged in pubs about whether Mr. Bacon appeared in one movie or another. As of today, Google have taken any fun out of the game by making the links for you. By entering a query for “Bacon number” followed by an actor’s name in Google, you are instantly provided with the answer straight away in a one box result at the top of the results page:
The interesting thing here for SEO’s is how Google is able to provide this functionality. First suspicions leant towards an in depth crawl of IMDB and a subsequent analysis of the data. But according to Google’s Roya Soleimani this isn’t the case. Soleimani has stated that the Bacon Number feature utilised the Google knowledge graph, which is Google’s map of real world things and their connections, picked up from various places around the web. This ability to tie together connections from huge pools of data really showcases Google’s increasing sophistication and it will be really interesting to see how else they may apply this understanding of real world people, places and things to search in the future. For most people the aim of the game is to find the highest bacon number possible. The largest I’ve found to date myself is 4 with Harry Houdini:
But I have a couple of other personal favourite bacon numbers. First up, the piggy connection between Kevin Bacon + Victoria Beckham:
And secondly, the classic sandwich combo of Bacon and Brie:
Does anyone have any other personal favourite bacon numbers?