Knowledge Graph and SEO

I’ve heard about Google’s Knowledge Graph, should it be something I am concerned about?

Entities, which in the context of search engines relate to tangible objects like people, locations, companies and places and how they relate to each other, are an important aspect of modern day SEO and are represented in Google’s Knowledge Graph.

For example, if you search for the entity “Barack Obama ”, you’ll be greeted with a Knowledge Panel (a visual representation of Knowledge Graph) result on the right-hand side with details and links around his bio, date of birth, political party, family and social media profiles.

For businesses, optimising Knowledge Panels are a great way to heighten brand awareness, drive traffic to various areas of your business profiles across the web, and occupy a good amount of real estate on search engines. 

For companies wanting to work on their digital reputation management, Knowledge Graph is a relatively low-effort high-reward venture in terms of the visibility improvements it can help with.

How do I check my Google Knowledge Panel?

A simple search on your business or brand name, products, key people with a profile within the organisation or address, will show you if you have a Knowledge Panel result.

We have a free Google Knowledge Graph search tool here.

Knowledge Panels can also be represented in local SEO listings. If your business isn’t large or famous enough to warrant a Google-generated panel, you can have some control over this by getting your team to create and optimising local SEO listings.

Will Knowledge Graph understanding impact SEO?

In short, yes, albeit in many ways. Occupying a large space on the right-hand side of the search results will not only increase organic brand awareness and trust can also drive sales.

You can even benefit in this respect from non-branded related searches, or competitor searches. Users searching for brands like Apple may also be presented with Knowledge Graph data on related companies like Microsoft or Samsung.

The flipside of this is that through representation of such rich data in the search results which can often provide users with the answers they need, actual clicks may decline. For example, if a user is searching for “company that owns Marmite” they will be represented with a Knowledge Panel detailing Unilever, which will satisfy their search intent without the need to click through. 

Overall however, it’s worth leveraging efforts within your business to claim or improve your Knowledge Graph presence, as done right it can serve as a form of free advertising. 

How does Knowledge Graph impact search results?

Search results can be impacted by displaying a large, detailed Knowledge Panel in the right-hand side, either generated by Google’s understanding of the entity around the search query or by local SEO listings.

Depending on the nature of the query, Knowledge Graph can also impact search results by showing a rich snippet from an article which is deemed to contain the best answer to satisfy the query.

For example, a search for “richest companies in the world” will return a featured snippet result gathered from various sources around the world detailing a number of companies around this query.

How does the Knowledge Graph fit into a broader SEO strategy, and what other tactics should businesses consider to improve their online presence?

If you’re a business, established or otherwise, then you should use the power of Knowledge Graph to tie in as much information you have on your company on the web and have it represented accordingly.

Providing information to Google Knowledge Graph, either in the form of providing information to Knowledge Panel results or through Google My Business local SEO listings can help with your Schema and featured snippet ventures too. 

Giving Google as much information around your business, its services and products via your content strategy will see the likelihood of your brand being associated with certain key unbranded search terms in the form of rich snippet results – these are the types of queries you ultimately want to go for as it’s where the real SEO opportunity lies. 

Which sources does Google use for the Knowledge Graph?

Google gathers data for Knowledge Graph from millions of sources around the web, though they have directly cited Wikipedia, Freebase and the CIA World Factbook as key sources to help inform how Knowledge Graph is represented in search results. 

This is confounded in many Knowledge Panel results for well-known entities (think celebrities or world-famous companies) with Wikipedia often being the source link for the information provided.

Where does Knowledge Graph optimisation sit within the marketing team?

If you’re looking to establish a Google My Business local SEO, improve your Knowledge Graph data or wish to give feedback on an existing Knowledge Panel result, then this area can be owned by various components of your marketing team.

Brand mentions and article placement in major publications will help with your Knowledge Graph credentials, and this can be aided by your link building or digital PR team. Schema markup (in particular Organization markup), another partner to Google’s Knowledge Graph, can be implemented by your website management, product or developer team.

Creating Wikidata (if you’re not in a position to have a Wikipedia entry) can also boost your Knowledge Graph prowess and this can be done by your brand and content teams.

How does Knowledge Graph impact local search? 

Local Knowledge Panels, or Googly My Business listings, are a great way to heighten brand awareness and encourage user interaction through your brand by getting in touch or leaving a review. Done well, they serve as a great vessel for what is eventually free advertising on Google for your brand.

These panels also provide key information such as business details, opening hours, photos and more.

Outside of branded listings, having Knowledge Panel and Google My Business listings may see your brand appear for queries such as “Italian restaurants near me” or “insurance company near me” in the form of local place results. The more detail you provide on your listings here will heighten your visibility around these local searches and will increase your chance of getting business.

Do I need to invest into Knowledge Graph optimisation?

Knowledge Graph optimisation should be a part of your SEO strategy as a business owner looking to increase your organic visibility and drive more sales.

A good SEO strategy ties in activities both within and outside your website, whether that’s improving your technical SEO or content offering or growing your brand awareness via link building on third-party platforms.

Knowledge Graph optimisation is something you can continue to build on as your business grows and develops, and given there are some areas that you can directly feed into (such as local SEO listings) and have relative control over. 

How does AI/Bard relate to Knowledge Graph?

Knowledge Graphs are closely connected to machine learning and AI. With Google’s AI chatbot model Bard in mind, information in answers to certain prompts around businesses and other such entities leverages data from within Google’s Knowledge Graph, so make sure you’re sending all the right signals.

Google Knowledge Graph SEO Case Study

Music shop makes use of local Knowledge Panel to improve organic visibility against larger competitors.

Problem: A specialist music shop in a UK city with a loyal offline following was struggling to compete against larger chain sound and music stores in terms of their Google visibility.

Solution: After claiming a Google maps listing and optimising their Google My Business profile, the music shop became a known entity in local searches with good Knowledge Panel representation. It was quickly able to utilise its specialist status and good reputation and quickly accrued a high number of 5 star reviews. As a result, it now outranks its bigger competitors around local music-based queries in and around its location. 

Let's work together?
Discuss Project