An SEO Marketer from New York asked in John Mueller in a recent Hangout how to update some incorrect information that was showing up in a Knowledge Graph. I’ll get to the details of that in a little bit. First, some facts about Google’s Knowledge Graph, which serves up general answers for people’s research questions.
Basically, search can be defined in two ways, navigational search when somebody wants to get to a specific web page or document; and research search when someone wants an answer to a question. Research search is a more general search where the user looks for an answer to find facts about an object like a company, or food or history for example. Google has developed the Knowledge Graph to answer those research questions quickly for people by providing a panel next to search results containing facts, for example, nutritional value for foods, different paintings about renaissance artists, or contact details about a brand, etc. The background of the Knowledge Graph from Google is they are taking a step from being an information company to a knowledge providing company. It’s providing knowledge about a fact, taking graphs from Wikipedia, the CIA World Fact Book and prior searches on similar subjects and their click through choices.
If you have campaigns in the Rank Ranger interface, click on the Screen Icon from our Dashboard Summary and the lightbox will appear to see Knowledge Graph and SERP Features that are present on the Google results page . Or for a more in depth approach, consider using our Google TOP50 rank and Special Features API.
Aaron Friedman the SEO Marketer in John Mueller’s Google Webmaster’s Hangout mentioned a problem with the Knowledge Graph pulling incorrect information and turning up in the SERP Features Knowledge Graph. Why and how did this happen? The Knowledge Graph pulls information from several different sources: Wikipedia, espn.go.com, the brand website itself, reviews of a product, people’s click-thru-rate on similar questions from the past and more, all feed facts into the Google massive “semantic network” of facts which ends up in the Knowledge Graph.
One major source of information for the Knowledge Graph is an online database, called Freebase. This database is large and has enough authority to provide Google with facts but was wrong in the case of one brand’s frustrated SEO marketer (and many others per a Freebase comments page in Google+). When they ask Google to change the fact in the Knowledge Graph that’s coming from Freebase, marketers and brands are faced with a problem; Freebase is locked and in read-only mode because it’s soon going to be closed (and it’s info purportedly transferred to Wikidata). John Mueller, said to leave the new information in the Feedback notes area under the Knowledge Graph.
What are some other ways, besides entries in Freebase to get a Knowledge Graph for a website onto the Google Search page? Considering a Knowledge Graph often is in the the most predominant item on the screen in a catchy large box just to the right of results, it’s a valuable source of brand impressions, traffic and visitors for any website.
Start a Wikipedia page. The process of creating, editing and publishing a Wikipedia page is worth the effort for improved search results.
Add your company info to Wikidata.
Include source code into your website that Googlebot can read as good information to add to the Knowledge Graph. Facts like Logos, Corporate Contact, Social Profile Links can be marked up using special code called “Structured data markup“. This is a standard way to make notes in your content so machines like GoogleBot can understand what it means and what it can be used for in search.
At the bottom of the Knowledge Graph is semantic search which considers not just the keyword query, but also looks at the context of the search. It sees the keyword as an entity. The artificial intelligence of Google Search clarifies the entity by looking at factors like location of the IP where the search is coming from, intent of the query, all the word variations involved, synonyms, generalized or specific nature of the query, concept matching and natural language information. That’s a lot more than simple Page Rank and adding spammy links! Clarify the context of your site to match this new way of looking at SEO. Google, taking all the above semantics into consideration in the query then searches its index of websites and delivers a result.
The Knowledge Graph’s goal is that users would be able to use this information to resolve their query without having to navigate to other sites and assemble the information themselves away from google.com.
The importance of the Knowledge Graph, SERP Special Features and Semantic Search cannot be underestimated in today’s SEO environment. Doing the work to give Google facts and points of information allows the algorithm to see your site’s facts as an answer to research questions. Your sites’ content and authoritative links enhance your users’ experience and makes your site and its important facts a priority for Google Search.