June 17, 2012
You might have noticed that now, when you search for a person or thing on Google, you are sometimes provided quick facts about it along with the image right next to the search results. That’s Google’s new type of search, the Knowledge Graph, at work.
Some people find it amazing, some say it’s essentially like bringing Wikipedia onto the search results page, while some are trying to understand how it can be leveraged to increase online presence.
What Kinds of Queries Trigger Knowledge Graph Results?
Google’s Knowledge Graph came in place of “People and Places” and is also basically about people and places. If you search for something generic like “gravity” or “chicken soup,” you’ll get no Knowledge Graph. However, if you search for the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” you’ll see the authors’ names, the book’s image and a short summary displayed.
According to Google, the Knowledge Graph helps you discover information about “landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art, etc..” The more specific and unique the term is (e.g., “the Eiffel Tower”), the bigger the chance that it’ll trigger the Knowledge Graph.
Reverse-Engineering the Knowledge Graph
In order to understand how Google’s new functionality can be used as a marketing channel, let’s first look into the Knowledge Graph’s structure and see how different Knowledge Graph results are interconnected.
For example, a search for “The Fifth Element” returns a picture and four lines of text about the movie from Wikipedia, as well as links to its key actors and to related movies. Let’s take a closer look at those links and images.
(Links) There are two links to Wikipedia provided (under the image and next to the summary). All other links lead to Google’s own search results for corresponding queries (say, Bruce Willis). I’ve also analyzed tons of other Knowledge Graph impressions and discovered that it’s either links to profiles/entries on Wikipedia, Google+, nndb.com, etc., or simply links to Google’s search results for a particular query.
(Images) Chris Tucker’s image comes from his G+ profile, Gary Oldman’s is from nndb.com, while that of Mila Jovovich is from Wikipedia. So, image sources vary, too.
Get on that Knowledge Graph!
OK, now that we’ve got some idea of how the Knowledge Graph works, it’s time to try and use it to give your business some more exposure:
1. Think of What Makes Your Business Unique
This could be a unique company or product name, a prominent person working for your firm, etc. This will be the channel through which your business will be represented on the Knowledge Graph.
2. Build Data Around Your Company’s Representative
Let’s say you’d like to appear on the Knowledge Graph for the term “Le Bateau Ivre” (“The Drunken Boat” in French).
Le Bateau Ivre is a famous poem by Arthur Rimbaud. However, showing up for “Le Bateau Ivre” on the Knowledge Graph is a restaurant in Berkeley, California. Why is that?
Most likely, this is because (1) it’s listed on Google Maps/ Places and ranks Number 1 for the term there, (2) it has 23 Google reviews and (3) it has owner-submitted pictures of the restaurant as seen on the G+ profile.
Now, if we try to think why the original poem that even has a separate Wikipedia listing for it did not make to the Knowledge Graph, we’ll see that (1) the Wikipedia entry in question is, in fact, very short, (2) there is no picture on Wikipedia that could be associated with the entry.
So, to create a presence for your company representative, tap into reputable venues that Google trusts and may pull data out of – for example:
- Wikipedia (create a listing about your representative, with a picture);
- Google+ (create a G+ profile for it)
- Google Images/Places/Recipes and other verticals of Universal Search
- popular directories and review sites, etc.
In addition, make those listings as detailed as possible, with as many reviews, ratings, etc., as you can get.
3. Use Structured Data
I’d like to emphasize the benefits of using microdata and microformats to get on the Knowledge Graph separately. What’s structured data? Essentially, it’s a chunk of HTML code on your site that’s formatted in such a way that Google can make better sense of it.
It’s like telling Google, “OK, here is my Name, here is my Address, here are my Reviews,” so that Google can retrieve this information easier.
If you have structured data on your site (this can be done via schemas or micriformats, chances are it will be used by Google to provide more (and more accurate) information about your business in the search results (such as News, Shopping, Places, etc.) and, hopefully, on the Knowledge Graph.
It appears that we can’t say Google’s Knowledge Graph is built exclusively on top of Wikipedia, Google+ and structured data, but these seem to prevail to some extent. Hence, waste no time and tap into the above-mentioned Google’s venues to get featured on Google’s Knowledge Graph ASAP.
Alesya Krush is an SEO and an Internet marketer at ‘Link-Assistant.com, a leading SEO software provider. The company is best known for its SEO PowerSuite package: a collection of four leading-edge SEO tools for rank tracking, backlink analysis, social media popularity monitoring, on-page SEO, competition research, and more. Together, SEO PowerSuite tools have set a new global standard for technology-powered website promotion.