Enhanced Search Results
Google is always striving to improve their user experience. They want repeat customers, as more searchers mean more online advertising revenue. One of the ways the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is enhanced is with The Knowledge Graph — the area to right of search results. When consumers enter a search phrase into Google, the search engine must then find the best results… fast. This graph tool is meant to gather information without the need to visit multiple sites. From Google’s perspective, this makes them a better search engine. From a marketing perspective, let’s examine how this tool can improve your website’s placement within organic search (SEO).
Five Select Sources
Before your website registers on the Knowledge Graph, you must have information in its database. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to add information directly into the tool. However, if you know where the graph pulls information from, you can begin to optimize for those platforms. The graph has five well-known sources; the first three are primary sources for information:
- Wikidata: Formerly known as Freebase, this database has over 15 million data points. You can manually enter data or alternatively, you can send details through an API.
- CIA World Factbook: You cannot manually submit information to the factbook, but it contains plenty of information regarding energy, economy, people, history, government and more.
- Wikipedia: Like Wikidata, anyone can add information to this site, but data is frequently flagged without published and reliable resources.
- High authority source content: High authority sources can include press mentions, referrals and other sites with high Google rankings. Include information from these sites.
- Sites utilizing schema markup: Schema markup makes it easier for search engines to “read” or “understand” your website’s content. This improves SERP placement, which powers your graph data. Use of schema for items like products, events, and individuals help Google understand the context of information.
Influencing the Knowledge Graph
With all that background information behind you, it’s time to start strategizing. How are you going to improve your graph results? Use these five steps as a guideline:
- Implement a schema markup: Choose what type of searches you want to show up in and consult with Google’s summaries of Knowledge Graph customization.
- Additions to Wikipedia and Wikidata: Take advantage of your ability to edit these sources and add your data. Be sure to follow community guidelines to avoid getting flagged. Note: be prepared to spend significant time and effort to add references to these communities. Entries are not advertisements; they are meant as a fact reference.
- Optimize your Google My Business, Google+ and Google Maps pages: When people find your business profile, your hours, location(s) and other relevant details should be readily available. Note: All of your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) data should be standardized across all profiles on the Web. You want to make it easy for various software systems to identify your business. Even slight deviation of NAP can affect visibility.
- Research your keywords: If you’re dabbling in Google optimization and SEO, you’ve probably heard of keywords. Find out what phrases your customers are searching and target them. Google has a range of free tools to help you conduct research. Keyword research is really market research. Vanessa Fox’s Marketing In the Age of Google provides excellent information on how it all works together.
- Use YouTube: YouTube is part of Google, so it naturally the site’s data ends up on the graph. Think about posting short promos and other sharable content in this medium.
In the beginning, optimizing for the Knowledge Graph seems a bit like swinging a bat in the dark. However once you begin working with the tool, you’ll likely pick up an intuitive understanding of the system. After all, Google guards its algorithms, but the ultimate goal is to create an instinctual system. The Knowledge Graph helps searchers get to what they want faster and easier.
What do you think of Google’s Knowledge Graph?
How can we help?
Want to implement schema markup on your WordPress website? Looking to improve how you appear in organic search?
We are the spectrum group online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.