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What is Google’s Knowledge Graph and how does it work?

Google’s Knowledge Graph is their database which holds information and billions of facts about people, places and things.

The knowledge graph was introduced in 2012 but understanding how it works is still highly important and beneficial for site owners and SEO marketers.

In this post, we will look at how it is used to generate search results and what goes into creating knowledge panels.

What is the Google Knowledge Graph?

It is Google’s database full of facts about people, places and things which it uses to provide search engine users with the most accurate and relevant search results possible. Google define its knowledge graph as:

A database that collects millions of pieces of data about keywords people frequently search for on the World wide web and the intent behind those keywords, based on the already available content. r.”

When searching on Google – you will notice boxes within search results for queries to do with people, things or places. These are called knowledge panels, and they are there to provide users with a list of key facts. These are the facts that Google’s algorithm decides to be the most relevant from the Knowledge Graph.

According to Google:

“These are designed to help you quickly understand more about a particular subject by surfacing key facts and to make it easier to explore a topic in more depth.”

How does Google generate its knowledge panels?

Knowledge panels are automatically generated. The automated system is designed to provide users with the most suitable panel based on their search query. The information shown in a panel will differ between searches – but generally, you will see:

  • Title 
  • Summary of the topic 
  • A picture/s of the people, place or thing
  • A description of the subject
  • Key facts
  • Links to social profiles and official websites

Depending on the nature of the search – a knowledge panel may include more detailed or specialised information, for example:

  • Songs from an artist
  • Movies an actor has been in

As an example: go to Google and type “famous singers” into the search box. The picture carousel that appears at the top of search results is a Knowledge Graph result.

Google Knowledge Panel

These are the photos of artists that Google’s system believes to be the most relevant to the search.

Where does this information come from?

The knowledge graph takes its information from web content as well as licensed databases. One prime example is Wikipedia – which most users will see and trust when searching a query. Although it’s one of the most common sources – it’s not the only one.

According to Google, they draw from hundreds of sources and work with various specialist providers for different issues and topics.

Can you make changes to a knowledge panel?

The knowledge panel is an automated process and may not always be right. As a search engine user, if you believe that Google is displaying false information, then you can notify Google by selecting the “Feedback” button on the bottom right of results.

Google Knowledge Panel with Feedback button

Once you click the button – you can write a comment explaining the issue:

Feedback comments

Google can remove any inaccuracies that are brought to its attention. If you’re a person or company with your own knowledge panel – then you can communicate any changes directly with Google. 

How to request changes to Knowledge Graph

We know that knowledge panels are automatically generated, but site owners can request changes when they believe something is wrong. This works by following the steps below:

  1. Go to Google Search.
  2. Sign in to your Google account
  3. Search for your entity on Google and find its knowledge panel. 
  4. At the top of the knowledge panel, click Suggest an edit. 
  5. Click the information that you want to change. If you have multiple suggestions, submit feedback for each item separately.
  6. In the response box that opens, write a short description stating your suggested change, your reason and any publicly accessible URLs that confirm your suggested changes.
  7. Click Send.

How to appear in Google’s knowledge panel

This is where search engine optimisation comes into it. There is no rule book when it comes to getting your content in Google’s knowledge graph or panel – but there are some optimisation methods that you can follow to improve your chances. 

Knowledge graph optimisation is the process of helping Google understand what your web page is about and how it can provide a quick, helpful solution for users.

Optimising your web pages and content in the right way can tell Google exactly what your message is. It’s essential to align your content to user intent – depending on who you are targeting – in order for Google to recognise it as relevant.

As an example – these are some key ways to optimise your content for Google’s knowledge graph:

  • Use structured data markup
  • Optimise your meta description, title and SEO keywords  
  • Create and regularly update a Google My Business profile
  • Get listed on Wikidata.org and Wikipedia if possible.
  • Link-building
  • Build a social media presence 
  • Promote your content

With a combination of traditional SEO tactics – your chances of appearing in Google’s knowledge graphs will be much higher. We also recommend paying more attention to user experience as a whole. For example, things like the colour scheme, layout, CTA buttons and content-length can provide a better overall experience.

Does Google’s Knowledge Graph benefit SEO?

The two work hand-in-hand. When optimising for Google’s knowledge graph – you’ll be improving your search engine presence.

The knowledge graph helps Google understand what a web page is about, and therefore, which queries it is relevant to. The more context given to Google, the more likely it is to rank well – this includes being in the knowledge panel. Knowledge graph content is typically more prominent in search results.

Could you benefit from knowledge graph optimisation?

Any online business can benefit from driving traffic from the knowledge panel. The graph contains information that can provide users with information on facts, people and places and how they connect. The knowledge panel essentially takes away any extra work for the user and allows them to easily click onto a web page.

As an SEO agency, we understand the value of keeping on top of Google’s constant algorithm changes. We can also help your business get into Google’s Knowledge Graph by adopting the right SEO tactics.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our SEO team if you have any questions on how to optimise your pages.

 

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