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If you read my previous write up on Google’s use of Knowledge Graph to help provide users with richer and more helpful information, then hopefully you’re convinced that it’s in your best interest to have your company’s information available to Google’s Knowledge Graph – Because hey, who wouldn’t want a free billboard on the net right?
But the thing is, it’s easier said than done. Because Google sources a lot of its information for its Knowledge Graph from sources like the Wikipedia, CIA World Factbook and other large data websites, it can be a little challenging to control what information is presented about your company.
Hence, there are some who studies the methods needed to understand more about the Knowledge Graph and how to get yourself/your business/your brand featured by it. This topic is often referred to as Knowledge Graph Optimization (KGO) or Knowledge Graph SEO.
Let’s first freshen up a bit on our knowledge about how the Knowledge Graph works. Basically, what happens is since 2012, Google is constantly on the move to collect vast amount of information from around the web and add it into its knowledge base (that would be the Knowledge Graph).
By piecing these scattered information together, Google tries to create a picture of each and every entity – from renowned individuals to big corporations, their attributes and how they relate to each other.
When an entity is successfully identified, Google will be able to generate a Knowledge Graph panel (also known as Knowledge Graph cards, answer boxes or rich answers) which contains a compilation of information gathered from many sources. Here’s an example of how a business is typically featured on a Knowledge Graph panel:
As you can see, the Knowledge Graph display contains a number of components made out of text, images as well as links. The description noticeably is taken from Wikipedia and if you check the company logo, it is taken from Google’s Google+ profile (that’s a lot of Google). The sources can vary, but Google mainly extract information from places such as:
While you’ll never be able to completely control what a Knowledge Graph will display about your company, you certainly can influence it.
The following are some of the best ways to get information about your company on the right place to make it easier for Google to recognize your business as an entity and generate a Knowledge Graph panel for you:
Schema markup is a type of microdata, which is basically a fancy way of describing HTML codes you include in your website not to be displayed for normal viewing, but to be read by machines (search engines, web crawlers or browsers) for them to get extra informations.
By using schema to tag appropriate elements of your website, you’ll make it easier for search engines, such as Google, to organize and interpret the information that’s displayed on your webpages in a more effective manner, thereby allowing them to provide more relevant results to user search queries. It will also make it easier for Google to determine what kind of entity is represented by a website along with its attributes.
When Google have a clear picture of your company from the information derived from the Schema markup on your website, it will be more likely that a Knowledge Graph display will be generated on searches related to your company. Other than the type of organization and logo, Schema markup can also be used to describe products, events, important personnel and more.
It’s worth noting that Schema is a collaboration between four major search engines: Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex (a Russian search engine). Schema.org was established in order to standardize structured markup since there are a number of different formats used across the web. In other words, it is something that Google themselves initiate in order to make things easier for them. That alone is a huge reason to implement it.
While not necessarily a quality factor Google uses to consider when ranking pages on the internet, implementing Schema markup may also indirectly improve your SEO as it enables Google to understand your website better and as a result, produce a richer answer and more accurate snippets when returning your website in the search results.
An easier alternative is to use the new SEOPressor Connect’s Schema.org builder. The feature lets you select the Schema.org data type corresponding to your content and it will automatically generate and incorporate the markup in your website code.
You can also add other details such as headline, description and author’s name in easy to use form and SEOPressor Connect will translate them into Schema.org markups.
Basically, you can now incorporate Schema.org markup automatically in your website even without having technical knowledge. Even if you already familiar with the markup, it saves you a lot of hassle of having to write them yourself and the need to refer to the documentation each time you’re writing them.
Wikipedia is the Internet’s encyclopedia trusted by all and as such, a valuable source of information for Google’s Knowledge Graph. Wikipedia regularly ranks in the top five search results on Google because its articles are longer, better researched and more cited than other online content. The unique thing about Wikipedia is that anyone can edit its pages. So basically, it’s a user-based encyclopedia.
Although anyone can edit anything in Wikipedia, everything is subject to both deletion and revision, which results in a high quality control. You can enter information about your company into Wikipedia, but you need to be somewhat notable to avoid having it deleted or revised. This means that your company needs to have been featured in mainstream press or on channels that are trusted, independent and neutral.
The content you post to Wikipedia must have a neutral point of view – this means that you can’t attempt to advertise or promote yourself – Wikipedia is purely for neutral information. One of the best strategies for obtaining an entry on Wikipedia is by compiling a list of citations and sharing them with the writers community on Wikipedia when suggesting an article.
Having your business featured on Wikipedia also comes with other perks. But before deciding on creating your own Wikipedia page, it’s best to first analyze the requirements, benefits and even the drawbacks of having a Wikipedia page for your business.
Wikidata is different than Wikipedia in that it’s more oriented for the use of machines instead of actual humans, although both humans and machines can edit content on the database. It’s a data repository that was created to support Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia Wikisource and Wikivoyage. So far, Wikidata boasts almost 14 million data items, which is why it’s not difficult to understand why it’s one of Google’s Knowledge Graph’s main sources of information.
Creating an entry is not too hard, just keep in mind that the rules are in line with those of Wikipedia. It’s considerably easier to create a Wikidata entry as you only need to insert simple informations instead of writing whole paragraphs like in Wikipedia.
It’s worth noting that theres another similar public knowledge base used as a source of information for Google Knowledge Graph, called Freebase. Freebase was much more lenient compared to Wikidata in a sense that it is not subjected to the strict moderation and notability requirement of Wikipedia or Wikidata. Unfortunately it is now closed for edits and the database was migrated to Wikidata. So, if you managed to submit your business into Freebase back when it was open, it’s one less work for you.
One of the easiest way to get on the Knowledge Graph is through the Local Knowledge Graph. In a way it is a little bit different to the ones mentioned before as like the name implies, it is emphasized more on local search. This means 2 things:
Depending on whether you are conducting business on-site or online, local Knowledge Graph display can be of different importance to your business. But either way, it is a good way to start if you want to get your business on the Knowledge Graph.
Showing up in local search results is a surefire way to spread awareness of your company throughout your area. People that have no idea about your business even though they live right around the corner from it may find it through the Knowledge Graph. The following steps will help ensure that your business pops up in Google’s Knowledge Graph for local searches:
Go through all of your online platforms, from your website to your social media channels, and make sure that your name, address and phone number (NAP) are displayed and consistent. It will be easier for Google to relate which online assets belongs to the same organization if they have something unique in common.
Remember to use the same address format and avoid even minor differences like the use of .Inc in the company name or the dash and spaces used in the phone number. Pick one standard and use it across the board.
Once you’ve ensured that your company information is accurate and present across all platforms, launch a citation campaign in order to have your company’s information cited by as many local directories and authoritative websites as possible. Other than location-specific directories, here’s a list of top citation sites you can start submitting your business to:
And of course, it’s worth a separate mention to include your business in Google’s own assets:
Having a complete set of submission in all of Google sites not only make it faster and easier for Google to recognize your business, but they also brings a lot of benefit for your SEO in general. Good customer reviews on Google-owned websites for example, are especially important as they are the ones to get shown on the local Knowledge Graph and the most starred results tend to rank the highest.
So strive to deliver the best service to your visitors and encourage them to drop a good review. It will be worth it!
Releasing press releases is a great way to increase exposure of your brand in its own right, but they can also have a huge effect on your Knowledge Graph. This is because it does several things for you. First of all, if your press release is published by a reputable online news agency, then it will be more likely that it will be featured in Google’s “In the News” section.
Additionally, a press release will double as a reference material to help establish your company’s credibility when obtaining an entry on Wikipedia. Press releases aren’t difficult to create, especially if you use a press release distribution tool such as Marketers Media.
We mentioned the importance of using Google+ before when going over Google+ Local, but it’s worth reiterating why you should use Google+. Out of all the social media channels out there, it should make sense that Google+ has the most impact on your Knowledge Graph – they’re both run by Google, after all! Google used to use information obtained from Google+ much more extensively for the creation of its Knowledge Graph.
Although Google have since diversified the information source, the information on your Google+ page will still be one of the main contributors to Knowledge Graph. While you might think that it’s a little bit unfair for Google to “force” us to create a Google+ account, favoritism isn’t actually Google’s intention as it is proven that Google started to move away from relying just on Google+ when they are able to find alternative sources.
Establishing a Google+ page is so easy and because it has so many other benefits – such as the ability to engage with consumers and to spread awareness of your brand and content, it makes a great first step to take if you haven’t done any of the aforementioned steps to help influence your Knowledge Graph. The most important part of creating a Google+ page for your business though, is to link them to your website.
Basically here’s how you can do it:
Google Knowledge Graph can have a huge impact on your company’s exposure when it comes to user search queries. I’d highly recommend that you use these tips in order to influence the information on your company that Google’s Knowledge Graph provides. Although it’s important to notice that while these steps are among the best practices to have in order to get your business on the Knowledge Graph, it won’t guarantee it.
Much like how practicing good SEO won’t magically get your website on the first rank on Google overnight, the same also applies here. In the end it all depends on Google’s own capability to synthesize all the information available across the web to improve the contents of its Knowledge Graph. And your job is to provide as much information as possible and get it in the right place.
Do tell me if these steps helps and if it managed to get you a Knowledge Graph display. I’d surely love to see them!
Updated: 21 November 2017