Knowledge Graphs have been around since 2012.
They are the explainer text or lists that sometimes appear at the top of searches (before ads). Or on the right hand side of the search results.
The space is reserved to hold popular facts about people, places and things. They only appear when Google deems them relevant to a particular search. They are quite useful if you are researching a topic or a person… They have links to further information… It’s a little like being on Wikipedia and finding yourself on a completely unrelated topic while you jump to new links within the text.
Where did Google get the information for Knowledge Graphs?
Well, it was their purchase of Metaweb back in 2010 that kick-started this knowledge. The information, as you’d expect, comes from sources such as Wikipedia (indeed the graphs do tend to look a lot like the Wikipedia format) and also Google Books, The CIA World Factbook and from data licenses that Google has with other entities.
To launch Knowledge Graphs, Google gathered more than 3.5 billion facts about over 500 million people/places/topics/brands. These include anything from actors to skyscrapers, islands to art works. Google also compiled all the relationships between these things. Knowledge Graphs are supposed to show you the answers to the most popular searches about that subject – so you should be shown the answer to the question you had, and indeed some you didn’t.
To check this you can look at Google’s autocomplete suggestions about that topic – they’re the most popular searches, so it follows that this will be the information that will appear in the Knowledge Graph.
If the search term is ambiguous, Google will give you the options that you might be looking for – much like the Wiki ‘disambiguation’ feature.
So What Does This Mean For Me?
Big brands will inevitably get a Knowledge Graph pop up on brand searches. While you can’t do much to alter the fact that there may be links to competitors, you can do your best to optimise your Knowledge Graph presence (we’ll be adding more information on how you can do this, check back soon). This is especially true for eCommerce sites.
If you don’t have a Knowledge panel, it’s probably because Google doesn’t consider your brand big enough to warrant showing searchers more information. Harsh, but true. Want to get a Knowledge Graph Panel? We’ll let you know how soon, so again, check back!