If you’re a Google user, you’ll almost certainly have come across Google Knowledge Graph at work. It’s usually a panel or carousel of information that appears at the top or to the right of your search results and it’s a step closer to Google’s stated goal to ‘eventually provide immediate answers to specific questions for the most popular search queries.’
You can use Knowledge Graph to get quick answers to popular questions like ‘what is digital marketing?’ which are displayed in a ‘Knowledge Panel’, or ‘Brisbane’s tallest building’ which returns a selection of skyscrapers frequently mentioned on the web with an image, building name and height. This kind of display is called a Knowledge Carousel as it displays related data.
If you type in ‘iFactory address’ Knowledge Graph jumps in and does its thing. It’s growing all the time and if a business updates opening hours or other information, Knowledge Graph will be updated. Plus, Knowledge Graph actually makes it easy for users to continue to update and correct data or report incorrect data so what it ‘knows’ about the world is constantly growing.
Where does the Knowledge Graph information come from?
Knowledge Graph gets its information from sources like Wikipedia, information sites like Weather Underground, Freebase.com, Google search data, Google Maps, Google Finance, Google Movies, Google Music, CIA World Factbook, World Bank and other public data sources.
Basically, it’s a massive database of information about things and their connections to other things. The information comes from many sources and is then refined based on popular questions people ask about a subject.
And since users are increasingly Googling longer search terms looking for more precise information, Knowledge Graph can return different results for similar (but different) searches. This is possible because of the depth of information inside Knowledge Graph and the relationships Google knows about between the various pieces of data.
How much does Google really know?
When Knowledge Graph was launched in 2012, the pool of information contained information about 500 million + entities, over 3.5 billion corresponding facts about the different entities and the relationships between them. 6 months after the launch, this knowledge base had grown to 570 million entities and 18 billion facts and connections.
At that rate of ‘learning’, Google is adding about 10 million entities and 2.14 billion facts and relationships involving them every month!
What can Knowledge Graph provide?
At this stage, Knowledge Graph will provide the following instant search solutions:
- Answer boxes for quick answers to common questions like a definition or a specific question
- Personal information for well-known people
- Episode and cast information on television and movies
- An image carousel is often used to display multiple answers to your query such as tracks on a certain CD
- A tourist attractions carousel is likely to appear if you type in ‘things to do in Brisbane’
- Points of interest may appear when you search for a particular location
- Weather panels are used to provide answers to questions about temperature or climate for a particular location
- Nutritional information is often presented when you search for various food types
- Medical information is available for most drugs and medications
- Comparisons are likely to appear if you type in a query such as ‘harbour bridge vs story bridge’
- Sports results can be displayed if you search ‘Broncos vs Cowboys’ for example
What does Knowledge Graph mean for business?
Although they’re not for profit, what this has meant for Wikipedia is consistently declining page visits. Now that Google is taking what they know about a certain subject and displaying a summary right there in the search results, fewer people are clicking through to Wikipedia.
It follows that Knowledge Graph could have the same impact on other sources of content, maybe even your business website, and almost certainly on your ‘contact us’ page.
Already users are looking for our contact details are very likely to simply type in ‘iFactory phone number’ and rely on Knowledge Graph to return the quick answers for them.
Certainly the upside for businesses is that if a user searches something specific about your business, Knowledge Graph may return precisely what they’re after and make it easier you to stand out in search results.
How can you Knowledge Graph work for your business?
There are a few things you can do to get Knowledge Graph working in your favour.
Although Knowledge Graph tends toward public data sources mentioned earlier for its fact-based data and connections, structured data can help visibility in the Knowledge Graph. Google Webmaster tools like the Data Highlighter can be used to alert Google to the structured data you have for use in the Knowledge Graph and search results.
You can also make it easier for the Knowledge Graph to get your information by using schemas to provide search engines with direct access to your structured data. Using schema markup to designate logos and provide detailed specific information about your business.
Get with Google
Because Knowledge Graph draws on data in most of Google’s other services, getting your business listing on Google Places for Business and using Google+ can give Knowledge Graph more information to display when someone searches for you or something about you.
Keeping up with digital marketing changes
While the Google Knowledge Graph is making waves in the digital marketing industry, understanding how it works and what Google is aiming to achieve can help you find ways to work with Knowledge Graph.
Consider actually encouraging your customers and leads to search for specific details about your business. List your business on Google Places and get social and share your great content on Google+ with authorship turned on.
The world of digital marketing and search engine optimisation is constantly changing so when it comes to your ongoing digital marketing, partnering with a specialist agency is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the digital curve.
iFactory provides digital strategy and ongoing digital marketing to a range of organisations who need to ensure their social media, content and strategy are tailored to build authority online and generate a consistent stream of new business enquiry. To find out how iFactory can help you move closer to your business goals, drop us a note or call us on 07 3844 0577.