Google have taken the next step in their implementation of intelligent search. The Google search Knowledge Graph goes further than current search engine results when it comes to returning relevant information. The Knowledge Graph not only returns information that is relevant to the search term that you submitted but it also tries to understand the connection between those results and other information it has in its database. Think of the connection between Muhammad Ali and boxing or Winston Churchill and British politics.
It does this by collecting information about famous individuals such as height, age, occupation etc and then seeing what information that can link to. It partly decides what information links with what by working out what information people found interesting and relevant to searches they already carried out. In a way Google is adding another way in which it can be vetted by the people who use it.
How Does the Google Search Knowledge Graph Help Searchers
This can help searchers in not only discovering the answer to their particular query but also discovering new information they didn’t even know was relevant or that they did know was relevant but couldn’t name.
In the following video they use the example of Leonardo Da’Vinci and renaissance painters. By searching for Da’Vinci not only are you provided with relevant information in the actual Search Engine Result Page (SERP) but you are also shown relevant information such as his paintings and other painters from the period. You can then click on these to be provided information about them in exactly the same space.
To coin a typically Googleish tagline, they want to move from an ‘Information engine to knowledge engine.’ However, this seems like it could well be happening. In 2012 an estimate was made that the Google search Knowledge Graph held a semantic network of more than 500 million objects, which contained 18 billion facts. These facts are utilised by the Knowledge Graph to ascertain what is linked to what and why. This then lets the Knowledge Graph understand the keywords that are used for every search and also what other information is relevant to those keywords. A lot of the facts and information are pulled from sites such as Wikipedia and Freebase.
Another development, as part of the Knowledge Graph, is the carousel. Working alongside the Knowledge Graph box the carousel presents immediate options to a particular search term in image format. By clicking on these images you are presented with further information about them in the Knowledge Graph box. An example of a carousel search could be female politicians or moons of Saturn, as shown in this video.
To view Google’s page about the knowledge graph follow this link.
How Will The Google Search Knowledge Graph Effect You
The most notable point is the fact that the knowledge graph WILL pull traffic away from certain sites, like the previously mentioned Wikipedia for example. When a sites sole purpose is to provide information and answers to questions it’s going to be affected when Google decides to build a service that does that in SERPs. However, it can be beneficial for your company as long as you have a thorough and detailed online presence and branding system. By starting early you can ensure your company is ready by the time Google comes around to adding it to the knowledge graph (which, admittedly, is probably a while away yet.) One part of this is social media. Having a proper social voice and presence, and therefore being present in online ‘chatter,’ will help set you apart from those sites who aren’t. Once you have set up your accounts check out our blog piece on how to create successful social media campaigns for them.
Ensuring you have an entry on the information sites that Google crawls when building the knowledge graph will also be advantageous. The great thing about sites like Wikipedia is the fact that all content is user submitted so you can jump on right now and add your companies entry. You can find out how to create a Wikipedia entry here. Google also draws from Local listings to fill knowledge graph information so if your business does not have a local listing (what have you been doing for the past few years?!) then follow this link to find out how to set one up.
On top of this, ensure structured data is properly set up on your site. Structured data is the term used to describe information that can be pulled by Google to make your sites listings in SERPs richer. This can be anything from product prices to star review ratings. Google has recently released a very nifty tool called the structured data highlighter that you can access in your sites Webmaster Tools account. This literally lets you go through your site and highlight information and tell Google exactly what it means. Information on how to use it can be found here. In the future this will help Google read your sites information when they want to add it to the Knowledge Graph but it is also beneficial in the present. Google likes it when you help them do their job but it has also been shown that richer results in SERPS have higher click through rates than those that don’t use structured data.
If this all seems a bit overwhelming don’t despair. As an SEO and web design firm we can help ensure your site is ready for current and coming search developments. Call us on 01753 878435 or email us today to discuss your needs.
Written by Ryan Hill